VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 2 • JUNE 2010 • COMPLIMENTARY
NEW GROOVES? NO PROBLEM
NOTHING BEATS A WEEKEND ON THE CG WINE TRAIL
NORTHWEST GOLF NEWS & VIEWS • cascadegolfer.com
JIM MOORE PLAYS IT UP AT BEND’S TOP TOURNEYS AT THE NW’S NEW COURSES, BROWN IS BEAUTIFUL
Hit The Road, Jack Cascade Golfer tees up the perfect summer road trips
See page 28 for details.
GOLF GLOVE $15 RETAIL VALUE
DEMO DAYS START JUNE 5TH Father’s Day Special Savings
See our schedule on page 9.
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit # 231 Seattle,WA
Volume 4 • Issue 2 • JUNE 2010
www.cascadegolfer.com Cascade Golfer is published and owned by Varsity Communications, Inc. This publication is mailed free to more than 106,000 registered Puetz Golf Preferred members. Additional copies are printed and distributed throughout the Puget Sound.
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V I C E P R E S I D E NT / D I R E C TO R O F S AL E S Kirk Tourtillotte S A LE S M A N AG E R David Stolber S A LE S & M A R K E T I N G Simon Dubiel, Ryan Amos FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES, CONTACT: David Stolber • (206) 367-2420 ext. 1204 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Consolidated Press • Seattle, WA COPYRIGHT 2010 Cascade Golfer. PRINTED IN THE USA. All rights reserved. Articles, photos, advertising and/or graphics may not be reprinted without the written permission of the publisher. Advertising and editorial contained herein does not constitute endorsement of Cascade Golfer or Varsity Communications, Inc. Publisher reserves the right to edit letters, photos and copy submitted and publish only excerpts. The publisher has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all material contained in this issue. However, as unpredictable changes and errors do occur, the publisher can assume no liability for errors, omissions or changes. All photos are courtesy of the course or individual unless otherwise noted.
10 SHORT GAME
• The saga of White Horse • 2010 CG Cup tees off • CG sends Seattle foursome to Masters • Play the Druids Glen Amateur • Win a box seat at the Boeing Classic • Apple Tree adds new cottages • Executive Women’s Golf Association • Couples gains momentum for Senior Open • Deals get better for Oki cardholders • SG Extra: The Image Makers
22 PUETZ IN THE BAG
Treat yourself like a pro
26 GOLF PERFORMANCE
Posture + Stability = Power
34 HOW “GREEN” BECAME BROWN New courses in the Northwest are leading a trend towards natural, “authentic” course designs that are fun to play and Earthfriendly. But can American golfers let go of their bright flowers and cascading waterfalls?
28 PUETZ GOLF SAVINGS 33 RISK VS. REWARD
Chambers Bay No. 13
54 SAVE SOME GREEN
Local values for under $45
57 PRACTICE TEE
Playing a ball above your feet
58 MICHELOB ULTRA POSTGAME
Need a quick golf fix? Try an executive course
DON’T MISS THIS MONTH’S ENTER-TO-WINS! Box Seats to the 2010 Boeing Classic | Page 13 Stay-and-Play Package to Running Y Ranch | Page 46 Summer Golf and Wine Vacation to Chelan | Page 52 AND CONGRATULATIONS TO APRIL’S WINNER! Central Oregon Stay & Play Ronald Kielmeyer | Puyallup
PRODUCER AND OWNER OF THE
NW AMATEURS FLOCKING TO CENTRAL OREGON
We sent local sportswriter Jim Moore to Central Oregon to play in one of the region’s numerous summertime amateur events, and to come back with a great story. Did he ever.
48 EMPIRE STATE OF MIND
How Washington’s Inland Empire became America’s No. 1 wine and golf destination
PROUD CHARTER MEMBER
The state’s most iconic hole, Apple Tree’s 17th, is a must-play for anyone on the Cascade Golfer Wine Trail. SEE THE STORY ON PAGE 48. Photo courtesy of Apple Tree Resort • Cover design by Rob Becker.
JUNE APRIL 2010 2010
Ballinger Lake Golf Course Professionally managed by Hardy Golf, LLC.
2 for $25 plus tax • 9 Holes
Monday thru Friday — Anytime *excluding holidays Saturday and Sunday — After 2 p.m. *excluding holidays
Ask about Early Bird, Twilight, Junior and Senior discounts
Ballinger Lake Golf Course (425) 697-GOLF (4653)
ballingerlakegolf.com 23000 Lakeview Dr., Mountlake Terrace, WA. 98043 Must present original coupon to receive discounts. No photocopies. Not valid with tournaments or in combination with other specials. Offer expires 07/31/2010
Camaloch Golf Course
Were located in the Sun Belt of Puget Sound, get less than 20 inches of annual rainfall, yet are still only 15 minutes from I-5 exit #212. Excellent greens (smooth & consistent) year round, course is fun to play for all skill levels, yet still challenges the best of players to score on.
for Special Discounts
Watching The Masters, it wasn’t mystique that got me — it was the “decades”
love watching the majors. Most of us do. And the pomp and circumstance that swirls around Augusta National Golf Club is on par with the history of Wimbledon, Yankee Stadium or the Boston Garden. But, what separates The Masters — even more, the game of golf — for me is not the green jackets and the blooming rhodys. It’s the decades. The decades that perfectly separate the game’s greatest players and their impact on golf and the historic tournaments. There is NO other sporting tournament on the planet where 60 years of history is actively woven through its participants – and most of them still competing squarely against one another. What struck me most this year was seeing a Masters where Rory McIlroy (20) — a young phenom whose green jacket still awaits him — could, on the same grounds, on the same day, strike a ball with the tournament’s ceremonious first tee shot legends Arnold Palmer (80) and Jack Nicklaus (70). There are 60 years between Rory and Arnie. That’s a lifetime, and they both played a real part in this tournament and the game of golf. Then there’s 30-yearold Adam Scott, who is competitive every time he steps to the tee, being bested by 60-year-old Tom Watson. Watson was among the serious contenders at this year’s Masters for nearly one-third of the 72-hole journey. With 30-plus years on a huge chunk of the field, Ol’ Tom was proving the axiom that golf is a game for life. And, since his run last year at the Open Championship at Turnberry, we all watch him now with utter seriousness as someone that can and will beat the youngsters. Then, the icing on the cake for this diehard. A 50-year-old Freddie Couples making a Sunday run on 40-year-old Phil Mickleson – this year’s champ, earning a third green jacket. And, had it not been for Phil’s miracle 200-yard dagger through the trees, and two putts that Freddie should have made, there may have been enough stride in Seattle’s favorite son and his
skateboard-inspired golf shoes to give him his second green jacket. But, this is not a column about coulda-shouldawoulda … it’s about the decades. It’s about a game that inspires athletes with 10, 20, 30, 40 years between them, and gives them a platform, audience and medium to evenly match art forms, and their testament and will. Man vs. man. Golf is unique that way. Imagine Gaylord Perry and C.C. Sabathia in a pitching duel where the best hurler can still be determined in 2010? Or, Lenny Wilkens and Kobe Bryant matching up in game of one-on-one where no points are spotted and the clock is running. Perhaps those are unfair comparisons – perhaps they aren’t. Either way, when 10-year buffers are evenly placed between great players and they can all compete and feed the fire of a golf tournament spanning 60 years of vintage, it does prove one thing — that this is a game for the ages and we all have a long time left to enjoy and compete in golf, no matter how old we are. Enjoy the warm weather, long days and this great game this summer, and keep the comments coming in — we love it! And, as always … take it easy.
WANT TO REACH 110,000+ PUGET SOUND GOLFERS? ADVERTISE IN CASCADE GOLFER! Contact David Stolber • sales @ cascadegolfer.com • (206) 367-2420, ext.1204 2010 Boeing Classic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 2010 Cascade Golfer Cup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 2010 U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee. . . . . . . . 11 Adams Golf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Apple Tree Resort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Avalon Golf Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Ballinger Lake Golf Course. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Best Western University Inn. . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Brasada Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Callaway. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Camaloch Golf Course. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Classic Golf Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Clicgear. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce. . . . 15 DiabloGolf.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Druids Glen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Eagle Crest Resort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Eaglemont Golf Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Glen Acres Golf and Country Club . . . . . . . 55 GolfTEC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Hampton Inn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Lake Chelan Golf Course. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Lake House at Chelan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Leavenworth Golf Course. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Michelob ULTRA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Mick Kelly’s Irish Pub & Restaurant. . . . . . . 55 Muckleshoot Casino. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36, 60 Juniper Golf Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Oki Golf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Palouse Ridge Golf Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Running Y Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Semiahmoo Resort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Seventh Mountain Resort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course. . . . . . . . . . . 16 Sunriver Resort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Sunshine Sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 TaylorMade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Tetherow Golf Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Therapeutic Associates, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Tri-Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau. . . . 47 Wine Valley Golf Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 PUETZ GOLF SAVINGS PAGES 8-9 | 27-32 | 53
Cascade Golfer Cup Sports Radio 950 KJR Scramble
at McCormick Woods • June 12th • 2010 Win an 8-Night Stay at Aston Maui Ka’anapali Villas & 4 Rounds at the Ka’anapali Golf Resort
COMING IN JULY!
Callaway Golf Classic
at Gold Mountain
• Top 20 Net Team Scores at each event win prizes • Top 3 Gross Team Scores at each event win prizes • Top 10 Team Point Totals for the CUP win prizes
See website for more prize information and complete details.
PLAY IN ONE OR PLAY IN THEM ALL! Stay & Play Package to Southern California & a Set of Custom Clubs at the Callaway Golf Performance Center! DiabloGolf.com Best Ball at Kayak Point Aug. 14th • 8:00 a.m. 2-Person Best Ball
(Olympic Course) July 24th • 2:00 p.m.
2-Person Stroke Play CONTACT Simon Dubiel
email@example.com (206) 367-2420 ext.1236
Cascade Golfer Cup Championship at Druids Glen Sept. 11th • 8:00 a.m. 2-Person Scramble SUPPORTED BY
BY BRIAN BEAKY
White Horse Rides Again I
PHOTO BY ROB PERRY
“ ’ve got a few gray hairs,” says Bruce Christy, reflecting on a turbulent year in the life of one of the Northwest’s most-talked-about tracks, White Horse Golf Club in Kingston. When the course opened three years ago, it was hailed as the next great Puget Sound golf course, the result of 22 years of hard work on the part of owner Bob Screen, and featuring a much-celebrated design by Cynthia Dye McGarey, niece of acclaimed designer Pete Dye. The planned bonanza, however — to include multiple housing developments, a clubhouse, hotel and spa — never materialized, done in by a failing economy that scuttled Screen’s plan to recoup the course’s startup costs. American Marine Bank took over the course in the fall of 2009 before it, too, was taken over by yet another bank. With each successive change in ownership, Christy was asked to drastically slash expenses, and rumors began to circulate that the course may not survive the winter. Gone went the bag drop attendants, the marshals and the starters. The pro shop staff was cut to two; the maintenance staff — responsible for the entire 375-acre property — was reduced to just three people. Christy and course superintendent Erik Linsenmayer would look at the list of things they knew needed to be done to maintain the golf course, compare that to the budget, and start scrounging. “The budget went into the garbage,” Christy said. “We were bringing our own stuff, buying our own things. We were trading labor for the ability to use a trailer, or…a mower, or a sprayer. We even instituted a ‘broken bag’ policy for fertilizer — we’d call suppliers and ask if they had 10
any broken bags, and if they did, could we get them at a reduced price. “We did anything and everything we could — beg, borrow and steal — to keep this place afloat.” To Christy and the other dedicated members of the pared-down staff, it was a full-on crisis. To the Suquamish Tribe, however, it was an opportunity. The tribe, which owns and operates the nearby Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort, had been interested in golf course development. When the opportunity arose to purchase White Horse — built on land that was part of the tribe’s original acreage before the Bureau of Indian Affairs began selling off tribal lands in the early part of the last century — it was a no-brainer. “The tribe has a long history of land loss, so we were excited to have the chance to reclaim 375 acres and at the same time invest in the golf business, which we’d been considering for years,” said Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe. “They’ve been our shining stars,” Christy says. Since the tribe’s official purchase this spring, they’ve hired Touchstone Golf, a San Francisco-based management company, to oversee a handful of changes, including soliciting proposals from four different architects to “soften up” a course that boasts one of the highest (and most difficult) ratings of any in the Northwest, and has
received criticism at times for being too difficult for the majority of amateurs. “We’re talking about nips and tucks, not major surgery,” says Touchstone’s Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer Mark Luthman, who also oversaw the development of Chambers Bay for KemperSports in 2007. Christy says the redesign will focus on minor alterations — changes to bunkering or green contours, removing trees, altering some approach areas to allow golfers to run a ball up onto the green — designed to increase the playability of the course, while retaining its overall aesthetic. “There are simply some playability issues that affect the overall enjoyment of the course,” Luthman adds. “Golf’s a hard enough sport as it is.” Luthman says that a design proposal will be selected soon, and work is expected to be conducted over the winter — with the course remaining open — and be completed in time for the spring of 2011. An additional change that will welcomed by Puget Sound golfers is a reduced greens fee, more in line with those at the peninsula’s other top tracks like Trophy Lake, McCormick Woods and the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain. Looking back on the year that has passed — four different owners, massive budget cuts, begging for basic essentials — Christy almost finds it hard to believe that White Horse’s prospects could now look so good. “It’s come a long ways,” he says. “It’s brought all of us closer together with a common goal, saying, ‘We want this place to survive.’ [Now] the future is so bright, and I’m excited about that.” cascadegolfer.com
CG Cup Kicks Off With Full Field At Chambers
t was a wet and windy day at Chambers Bay on May 1, but that didn’t matter to Todd Roney and Byron Rich (pictured at right). Because by the end of the day, all that duo could see were the crashing waves and sandy beaches of Pebble Beach, where the pair will attend the 2010 U.S. Open this month. Roney, of Covington, and Rich, of Federal Way, fired a 5-under-par net 137 to win the 2010 Michelob ULTRA Open at Chambers Bay, the first event of this summer’s six-event Cascade Golfer Cup. Players in each event have the chance to compete for terrific event-specific prizes (prizes at the Michelob ULTRA Open included the all-expenses-paid U.S. Open trip, tickets to the 2010 U.S. Senior Open and 2010 U.S. Amateur, stay-and-plays to Central Oregon; RenoTahoe and Mesquite, Nev.; plus clubs, rounds of golf at top local tracks and more) and accrue points towards the summer-long Cascade Golfer Cup championship, the winners of which will receive rounds for two at over 25 of the region’s top courses — or as we call it, the 2011 Summer Golf Package. Reigning amateur world champion bagpiper Tyrone Heade (who is available for special events and private instruction, at bagpipe-entertainment.com) played teams out to their starting holes as a stiff wind and light rain lent a true Scottish feel to the links. Following the
round, teams all returned to the Michelob ULTRA 19th Hole for a round on the house and a catered dinner and awards party. There’s still plenty of time to get in on the action! Four more events remain this summer, including the SportsRadio 950 KJR Scramble at McCormick Woods (June 12), the Callaway Golf Classic at Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course (July 24), the DiabloGolf.com Best Ball at Kayak Point (Aug. 14) and the GolfNow.com Cascade Golfer Cup Championship at Druids Glen (Sept. 11). To check out results, view schedules, rules and prizes, or sign up for any of the events above, visit CascadeGolfer.com/Cup.
MASTERS of Their Domain
hinking the tournaments was impossible to appreciate the above — and particularly the incredible golf being played. But prizes being given out — seem because we had tickets for TWO too good to be true? Well, they’re rounds, we came back Sunday good — and they’re oh so true. with a plan (and an extra set of Just ask Seattle natives Todd chairs) and were able to watch Densley and Allen Chery, who all the players come through No. posted the winning score at 2, and then the final 12 pairings (From left): Todd and Teresa Densley, last fall’s Muckleshoot Masters go through Amen Corner, before Pam Costner and Allen Chery. at Druids Glen to win passes to parking at No. 17 to see the final Saturday and Sunday’s action at this year’s Masters six pairings come through. It was absolutely awesome — tournament in Augusta. At the time of their win, Todd something I can finally cross off my bucket list.” and Allen were buzzing about the prize — the chance Densley was equally impressed with the course, to walk the famously restricted fairways of Augusta and and the experience. watch the world’s best golfers compete for its most “The grounds are unlike anything I have ever seen prestigious prize. It’s the hardest ticket in all of sports, — every piece of grass the same length, and not a and they had two of them — you can’t beat that, right? weed on the premises,” he said. “My wife and I were Actually, it turns out you can. Because this year’s fortunate enough to have chairs set up on the 13th hole Masters was unlike any that has come before — from the when Phil Mickelson hit his miraculous 6-iron off the drama surrounding Tiger Woods’ return to competition, pine straw, behind a tree to five feet of the pin. The to Fred Couples’ four-day run at a second green jacket, crowd went crazy and we had a front row seat to all to Phil Mickelson’s miracle shots and inspiring win, it the dramatics. amounted to one of the best weekends of golf-watching “I know in my lifetime I will never be able to duplicate there has ever been, anywhere. seeing the masters for the first time. I would like to thank “The night before [Saturday’s round], I was up all Cascade Golfer and the Muckleshoot Casino for this night like a kid afraid to fall asleep because Santa might wonderful opportunity.” forget him on Christmas,” Chery said. “That first day was Too good to be true? Nope, just THAT good. so overwhelming, just taking in the whole experience Learn more about this year’s events and prizes at and trying to figure out the best places to watch, that it cascadegolfer.com/cup.
SHORT GAME Custom Golf Divot Tools Bag Tags • Golf Coins Challenge Coins
Oki Gives Golfers More of what they Want — Where They Want It Hawks Prarie Golf Club • No. 14
Huskies Gonzaga Cougars see our website for all of our schools www.sunshinesports.com
ki Golf’s Players Card has long been the gold standard of player card programs in the Puget Sound region. Sure, the low cost of the card and the freegolf benefits are a part of that, but the truth is, Oki’s 11 courses include some of the best public tracks in the area. Trophy Lake Golf and Casting, just south of Bremerton, was named to Golfweek’s “Top 10 Courses You Can Play” in Washington this year, alongside such notables as Palouse Ridge and Chambers Bay. Washington National, in Auburn, and The Golf Club at Redmond Ridge (formerly Trilogy) have also earned annual acclaim among the state’s best,
PHOTO BY ROB PERRY
while the Golf Club at Newcastle remains the crown jewel of public golf experiences in the Seattle area. Oki golfers have long been part of a community of inthe-know golf locals, so Oki is embracing that community appeal this year by adding flexibility to the Oki Players Card, expanding their men’s club programs and introducing a new Junior Club to help raise the next generation of Puget Sound golfers. “The one thing we’ve heard more than anything from our members is that they want to be able to play their favorite courses more often,” says David Vladyka, Oki’s Director of Marketing. And now, you can. Starting in 2010, holders of an Oki Platinum Players Card (the best and most popular deal, at just $319) will receive the same discounted rates; complimentary handicaps; invitations to open-play dates at Oki Golf’s private clubs, Indian Summer and The Plateau Club; and six complimentary rounds as always. However, Oki now gives cardholders the flexibility to play those rounds, and use multiple rounds, at any of Oki’s nine Puget Sound-area public courses, with the exception of Newcastle (as in previous years, cards limit golfers to one round per course here). Oki also held “open houses” in May for several of its many men’s clubs, giving members and non-members alike the chance to check out the benefits of membership including camaraderie, networking and competitive play. Oki has also established course-specific “Club Pass” programs that allow golfers who primarily play just one Oki course the chance to play weekdays for even less than the regular cardholder rate (at Hawks Prairie, for example, a $99 Club Pass purchase gives a golfer $15 weekday rates for the rest of the year), as well as access to social activities, club tournaments and more. Lastly, Oki Golf has reached out to the junior golf community with the establishment of a new Junior Club, giving players aged 8-17 the chance to play standby at exclusive junior rates (between $10 and $15), discounted prices on practice balls and a free round of golf. It’s all part of the effort to help golfers of all ages connect with their community courses, Vladyka says. “Our goal is to do what we can to help bring people together to continue to enjoy their passion for golf with others that share that same passion,” he says. For more information on any of the above programs, or for a complete list of Oki courses, visit OkiGolf.com. cascadegolfer.com
THE NORTHWEST’S ONLY ANNUAL CLASSIC ENTER TO WIN A VIP Boeing Classic Ticket Package for You and a Guest For tickets, schedules, or more information, visit boeingclassic.com.
t’s easy to be sucked in by the allure of the big USGA events that are coming this summer. Hey, we don’t blame you — by all means, get excited for the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee and the U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay. After all, these are marquee events for our region, drawing the world’s best players — and the eyes of a national television audience — to the Puget Sound region for two weeks in August. Every golf fan in the region should absolutely make it a point to support both of these events this year, and show the USGA that the Seattle area not only has some of the best golf courses in America, but the best golf fans, too. But as we throw our full ticket-buying and birdieapplauding weight behind the two headliners this summer, let’s not forget that the USGA may never have cast its net so deeply into our region this year were it not for the passionate support we’ve shown for our area’s ONLY annual PGA Tour stop — the Boeing Classic, our region’s largest employer’s annual gift to the golfing public. While USGA events come and go, local golf fans have always been able to count on the Boeing Classic, held Aug. 23-29 at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, to deliver an all-star cast of the game’s greatest pros to our region for one fun-filled week each year. What’s more, the event is an annual shot in the arm for local charities, with over $3 million in charitable donations coming in over the last five years alone. Whether it’s watching Hall of Fame greats like Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer, Nick Price and others debate whether to try to clear the yawning canyon at No. 14 (Curtis Strange, I’m looking in your direction), enjoying the teeth-rattling fly-bys by Boeing airliners, or just walking one of the most scenic courses in Washington with guys like Mark O’Meara and Fred Funk, the Boeing Classic is the one week each year where the golf world comes to us, and a regular reminder of why the PGA Champions Tour is considered the most fan-friendly event in sports. And of course, this year’s event will feature the homecoming of Seattle’s favorite son, Fred Couples, who has already said he plans to play in the Classic as long as it’s on the schedule. The best place to watch Freddie this year will be in the expanded Canyon Club, a large viewing area and hospitality suite on the 14th green. With a view of all the tee shots flying across the canyon, the 14th green and the 18th tee, you’ll be able to share in the action at the Boeing Classic’s signature hole for just $50 a day on top of the ticket price — which, at just $20 a day, or $60 for the entire seven
PHOTO BY KENE SPERRY
days of action, is a better deal than a 3D movie. As always, kids under 14 are admitted free with a paying adult, and Boeing employees, suppliers, contractors and retirees receive free admission for themselves and a guest by showing their Boeing badge at the gate. So, certainly, go out and support the USGA events coming to our area this summer — it’s going to be a fantastic ride for Puget Sound golf fans. But in all the excitement, don’t forget that there is only one PGA Tour event that we can truly call our own, and it’s up to us to make sure the world knows it.
Augusta has Amen Corner. Pebble Beach has the peninsula at No. 7. At TPC Snoqualmie, home of the PGA Champions Tour Boeing Classic, the most memorable shots are made at the par-4 14th, where players must decide whether to play it safe, or go for eagle with a risky, daring, will-it-or-won’t-it drive over the yawning abyss known as Bear’s Canyon. The winner of this exciting enterto-win will receive two Canyon Club passes to Friday or Saturday’s action at the 2010 Boeing Classic, giving you access to the Canyon Club VIP hospitality skybox located on the 14th green, where you can watch your favorite pros make that tournament-altering decision. And best of all, with a sun deck located on the back of the Canyon Club overlooking the 18th tee box, you can watch all the action twice! Each package includes grounds access, Canyon Club access, four beverages and a hot dog or wrap. Log on to CascadeGolfer.com today for your chance to win!
Apple Tree Makes A Sweet Deal
or the better part of two decades, Apple Tree Golf Course in Yakima has represented one of the premier summertime day-trip venues for a Puget Sound golfer — maybe with a stop at Desert Aire or Suncadia’s Prospector for an afternoon double-dip on the way home. Starting this fall, though, golfers may not have to make the trip home at all. Recognizing Apple Tree’s appeal to Puget Soundarea golfers, developers at the Yakima resort are breaking ground on a brand-new, gated community tucked just north of the 10th hole. Called “Cameo Court,” the new development will include cottage-style homes ranging from two to four bedrooms, walk-in closets, three-car garages, energy-efficient designs and open floor plans that maximize the square footage. While many may view a new home on one of the region’s top destination courses as out of their price range, general manager Jon Kinloch is quick to note that Cameo Court homes will start in the low $300,000s, making the development an affordable investment. “Creating value is critical,” Kinloch says of Apple Tree’s decision to keep prices low at Cameo Court. “Over the past 5-6 years, we’ve had a great run building $450K-$700K custom homes on and around the golf course. During that time, we’ve had many requests for smaller homes that feature the same quality craftsmanship and designer
details at a lower price point. Cameo Court will give them exactly what they’re asking for.” Kinloch says the response since February’s initial project unveiling has been good, with a number of interested buyers completing the online registration forms at appletreeresort.com. Construction is underway on the model home, with Apple Tree planning to begin development of the first of 39 planned lots later this fall. In addition to owning a golf course dream home, residents at Cameo Court will have access to Braeburn Park — Apple Tree’s private swimming pool, sport court and playground complex — and will receive discounted greens fees at the resort golf course, a longtime favorite of Cascade Golfer and Puget Sound golfers alike. With a front nine wound through active apple orchards, and a back nine that opens up to numerous signature holes — from the waterfall behind the green at No. 16, to the famous apple-shaped island green at No. 17, to the massive, bunker-strewn shared green at No. 9/ No. 18 — Apple Tree is one of Washington state’s most enjoyable tracks, and a must-stop for any golfer making a Central Washington golf day-trip, cruising the Cascade Golfer Wine Trail … or looking for a warm, sunny place to rest their head each night. For more information on Cameo Court, visit appletreeresort.com or call (509) 972-2740.
Bringing Women TOGETHER
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he game of golf has long been viewed as a game for men. Well, it only takes one look at our inbox — which regularly receives at least as much input from women as from men — to know that that’s not true any longer. Nationally, women represent almost 23 percent of the golfing population, with a total of 5.7 million women taking to the tee each year. What’s more, those women represent more than $85 million annually for the golf industry, a number only likely to increase as programs like the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program (developing the game for girls aged 6-18) expand. Locally, women pump more than $700,000 into the region’s golf economy. The Seattle chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association looks to bring together some of those women to share their passion for golf with others of a like mind. “[The] EWGA means different things to different people,” says Dee Johnson, chapter president. “Some join to learn the game, some join to improve or learn how to use golf for business or because they’ve moved to a new community and seek an instant network of friends. “With over 120 chapters nationwide, it really is a coast-to-coast network of friends and opportunities.” First off, let’s clarify something about the name. No, you do not have to be an “executive” to join — Johnson says that the group’s members range from administrative assistants, to entrepreneurs, to CEOs, and include women of all ages (65 percent range from 3655) and skill levels. With over 250 members, the Seattle chapter is one of the nation’s largest, a reflection, Johnson says, of the large number of women golfers in our region. In addition to league and tournament play, personal and professional development, mentoring programs, and discounts on greens fees and merchandise, members develop friendships and business connections while helping to raise the profile of women in golf and increase playing opportunities for the next generation of women golfers. “Women are a force to contend with [in the golf world] and will continue to be so,” Johnson says. “The EWGA is changing the landscape of the sport for the generations that follow, while helping women to learn, play and enjoy golf for business and for fun.” To view a schedule of events or find out how to become involved, visit www.ewgaseattle.org. cascadegolfer.com
The Wait Is Almost Over
l’ Boom-Boom sure is making it look easy out there on the Champions Tour. No sooner do we send our April issue off to print with a note about Fred Couples’ second-straight win to open his debut season on the PGA Tour’s senior circuit, and our boy goes out and wins a third (at the Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican Republic), then nearly steals Tiger and Phil’s thunder at Augusta. I can’t even imagine what the scene would have been at Augusta if Freddie had won — could his old college roommate and CBS commentator Jim Nantz have held it together in Butler Cabin? Heck, even my non-golfing friends were all calling and texting me Saturday night before the final round, wanting to know if I thought Fred could pull it off. With the incredible year he’s having, it’s almost impossible to believe that Couples will play in his first U.S. Senior Open right here amongst the fragrant pines of Sahalee Country Club, just across the lake from where it all began at Jefferson Park. Daily, weeklong and flexible tickets for the sevenday event — July 26-Aug. 1 at Sahalee — are going fast. Most golfers are going for the $250 Trophy Club
Druids Amateur Returns
W Sahalee Country Club PHOTO BY ROB PERRY
ticket and its promise of seven single-day tickets (one for each day), free parking and access to the exclusive Trophy Club at the 18th hole, featuring indoor/outdoor seating, TVs, computer scoring terminals, upscale food and beverages for purchase, and more. Daily tickets start as low as $45 (or $20 for a practice round day), and kids under 17 get in free with a ticketed adult. Check out the full schedule, buy tickets and more at 2010ussenioropen.com.
PHOTO BY ROB PERRY
hile teams of golfers are battling it out this summer in the Cascade Golfer Cup, there are still a number of high-quality events for amateurs who prefer the traditional every-man-for-himself format. We’re most excited about the return of the Druids Amateur, a two-day, 36-hole event at Druids Glen Golf Course in Covington that was a local favorite before taking a five-year hiatus after 2004. This year’s event, scheduled for July 10-11, is shaping up to be even better than its predecessor, with closest-to-the-pin, long drive and other side games to go along with $10,000 in prizes. “It’s going to be a premier amateur event at one of the premier golf courses in the Northwest,” says head pro Jeff Schuh. Entry fees are $175 per player, and include greens fees, tee prizes, range balls and lunch on both days of the twoday event. Prizes will be given out for both low gross and low net scores, and all prizes will be within the USGA’s maximum allowable limit. For more information, visit druidsglengolf.com.
The Image Men Stock Farm Golf Club • No. 13 Hamilton, Mont.
ROB PERRY AND JOHN JOHNSON
define the way we view local courses PHOTO BY ROB PERRY
hey work with sunlight but remain in the shadows. The photographic images of Rob Perry and John Johnson are all around us, on local and national golf course web sites, on brochures, in magazines, books, billboards, posters and scorecards. Yet, the photographers themselves are virtually anonymous. For the past couple decades, Perry and Johnson — two of the most respected golf photographers in the United States, but based in the Puget Sound region — have carved out careers taking pictures of romantic sunsets over wave-pounding ocean courses and dramatic sun-and-shadowed, doglegged fairways that lead to a tantalizing, bunker-fortified greens. Their images trigger an emotional itch in a golfer to want to play that hole. That’s their job, to create images that stir emotions, and they do it without much recognition. They take magnificent pictures of a certain spot on the earth, using the tools nature provides. “It’s the light. It’s distinctively different the first three hours in the morning from the middle of the day, which we don’t shoot at all. And it’s different from the last three hours,” said Johnson. “When the summer days are long, you may not get started until 6 p.m., depending how far north you are. If it’s cloudy, forget about it. Everything’s flat. In professional photography, you are paying for the ‘wow’ factor. You have to understand light.”
BY BOB SHERWIN Sunlight is everything. “If sun is filtered with any sort of high clouds, I’m dead,” Perry said. “I like clouds in the sky as long as the sun is not impeded. Once a high haze filters it, my color contrast drops immediately.” Unlike the average golfer who takes his pocket camera to Chambers Bay expecting to produce stunning moon-surface images, these guys understand how to get that shot. They can blow you away with color, contrast and brilliance. Part of their excellence is driven by their use of the right equipment, including old-school film (not digital), a slow shutter (quarter to a half second) and a tripod, at just the right time of day. But what truly separates them from the rest of us shutterbugs is their experience, including an eye for the shot, camera positions, patience and persistence. “I routinely check the weather,” Perry said. “I’m like a little meteorologist. I look at the extended forecast, the satellite shots. I talk to the superintendent, the general manager, the head pro. I know the time of year to best showcase the course — if there are fall colors, snow-
capped mountains, spring flowers, when the fescue grass turns golden.” Perry has a software program that tells him when the sun rises and sets; he just plugs in the city. He also has a compass-reading program so he knows when and where to set up the tripod. Johnson said taking on a job is not a simple as booking an airline ticket. It all depends on the time of day, time of year and location. “I could go to Texas in May, but you don’t want to be there in June or July,’’ he said. “The blue sky is not blue, it’s silver because of the humidity. “I’m a great weather watcher. If the weather is not good, I may break the (airline) ticket because you can’t get those expenses back. If it’s not perfect, we’re done. You just don’t go. You might have to wait for a week.” Johnson said even Western Washington has its dramatic contrasts. He can’t shoot tree-lined Sahalee at 7 a.m. because the sun doesn’t spread across the fairways until late morning. But tree-less Chambers looks spectacular in the morning sunrise.
ack in the early 1990s, Johnson was a teacher but always had a dream of a career in golf photography. A friend one day called him on it, saying, “If you think cascadegolfer.com
you’re so good, why don’t you just do it?” So he did. And to his surprise, he quickly learned something about himself — he was awful. But he persisted, paying closer attention to detail, learning how to use light and angles. Then he got his “classic big break.” He was dating a woman from San Francisco who worked for Ghirardelli Chocolate, which sponsored a function at Pebble Beach near Monterey. Built along the rugged Pacific coast, Pebble Beach is one of the most scenic courses in the world. It can be obscured by fog at times, but on the day Johnson arrived, “you could almost see the curve of the earth.” Pebble is notoriously protective of its image, and when officials found out that a photographer had been given free rein on the course, a representative was sent to Johnson’s room. Instead of denying any and all use of the images, however, she simply asked to see them. She liked them. Johnson negotiated a deal and his images were used in an ad campaign in advance of the 1992 U.S. Open at the course. They were used in full-page ads in Golf Digest, Sports Illustrated and the official program. The USGA decided to put a calendar together, and Johnson was sent flying to various courses around the country to take more promotional pictures. He hit the ground running in a new career, one that has continued for nearly two decades. Johnson works out of a small office in Lake City with a staff of five. His company, J2golfmarketing, is involved in all sorts of endeavors — books, brochures, trade shows, billboards, magazines, web sites, cards, mailers — anything that you can put an image on. He has more than 200,000 images on file from more than 400 courses around the U.S.A., Canada, Scotland, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, The Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Slovakia, China and more than five dozen courses in Washington.
The Links at Moses Pointe • No. 9 PHOTOS BY JOHN JOHNSON
TPC Snoqualmie Ridge • No. 17
erry’s entry into the profession was more by design. As he said, “Not one break but a combination of a bunch of small breaks.” He worked for his family’s food-distributing business until it was sold in the early 1990s. That’s when Perry decided to pursue his dream. He took a three-year commercial photography course at UC Santa Barbara and began building his portfolio, working on projects for Oki Golf and the USGA, before Kemper Sports — which operates Bandon Dunes and Chambers Bay, among others — hired him to shoot their top properties. “One thing led to another and it just kept going from there,” Perry said. Like Johnson, Perry has had his images used in countless calendars, brochures, magazines and promotional material. He has covered such events as the Tiger Woods World Challenge at L.A.’s Sherwood Country Club and the 2002 NEC event at Sahalee. “I have a golf background. I’ve been playing since I was young,” Perry said. “That helps having an eye for what I’m looking for. Any person who likes golf likes pretty pictures.” But, as these guys know, they can’t all be the same. If their assignment is to take the best pictures of all 18 holes, variety is critical. There can’t be all foggy shots, all dew shots, all tee-to-green shots.
WANT TO SEE MORE? ROB PERRY
robperry.com | (425) 556-9510 firstname.lastname@example.org
j2golfmarketing.com | (206) 324-2442 email@example.com April 2009 Volume 3 • Issue 1 •
swING At the eCoNomY VAlues top Course ANd produCt
tIme: oNe shoVel AtAAmAsterpIeCe dAN hIxsoN CrAFts
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Bob Sherwin is a three-year contributor to Cascade Golfer, having featured the opening of Chambers Bay, the making of the Boeing Classic and the Mariners Care Cystic Fibrosis Tournament, among others. He also writes for the New York Times, the Associated Press and MLB.com.
Rob Perry’s photos of British Columbia’s Furry Creek Golf Club (above) and Bear Mountain Ranch in Chelan (below) appeared on the cover of CG’s April and June 2009 issues, respectively.
Creek to From the fabulous Furry beckons B.C. Victoria and beyond, traveler the cash-strapped golf
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What is fairly consistent is they almost always need the flag in the picture. That is, after all, the focus, as well as the reference point. But do they do it from the tee, from 150 yards out, from a low bunker angle, from behind the hole? The answer is yes, all of the above. “It’s based on light, the layout of the hole, the bunkering, the elevation drop, whether you can see the surface of the green,” Perry said. “Definitely, the pin is the target. You try to guide the viewer to the pin. And once on the green, to the hole. You also can’t shoot the flag in shade. I’ll move it if I have to, to showcase it more.’’ After Johnson’s Pebble Beach breakthrough, he said he learned, “the second big truth – not every course looks like Pebble. So you have to learn the tricks of the trade.” He learned that one shot doesn’t fit all. Some holes are better from behind, although he said the bunkers disappear from that angle. Some holes are better from across the water, some from inside 50 yards, some from the full distance. He’ll also adapt his shots according to the course’s needs, such as providing romantic, low-light sunset shots for a vacation-type course, or plenty of water/bunker shots for courses trying to induce the golfer to a challenge. “The problem for us is that magazines are vertical, but golf is a horizon game,” Johnson added. “All these things go through your head. We think a little differently sometimes.”
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IN THE BAG REVIEWS
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LIKE A PRO M BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR
y father’s favorite picture of me is one taken when I was less than a year old, a green plastic golf club held firmly in my hands. “Look at that grip,” my dad always says when he pulls out the picture. “You knew how to hold a golf club before you knew how to hold a sippie cup.” My dad — a scratch golfer at the time, and even today, at 74 years of age, a prettyimpressive 7 handicap — was convinced that had he only started playing at a younger age, and had regular access to good courses and quality instruction, that he could have been great. So, he stuck the clubs in my hands before I could walk, took me to the course with him at least twice a week to practice and observe, and gave me all the instruction I could ever possibly want (the 13-year-old me might even say a little more than I could possibly want). It turned out, though, that Dad was wrong. You can give someone all the instruction in the world, but if they don’t have the natural talent, they’re never going to be an elite golfer. Ultimately, my destiny was to make whatever small mark I could on the golf world with a pen, not a putter. I hope Dad had a backup retirement plan. That said, while the majority of us may not be able to replicate the pros’ natural talent advantage — or, for that matter, their army of world-class swing coaches and personal trainers, their access to the world’s top courses or their freedom to refine their game, 24-7, with the latest gadgets and gizmos — that doesn’t mean that we can’t replicate their advantage in at least one area … high-tech, customized golf clubs. For years, pros have taken advantage of the Tour van — usually an 18-wheeler or modified super-bus provided by the club manufacturer that makes its way to every Tour event and allows the pros to be custom-fit between rounds for shafts, clubheads, grips — you name it. If something isn’t working, or if course conditions call for a different feel, they just pop into the van, have it adjusted, and stick it back in their bag for the next day. Custom fitting, though, is something of which all golfers — not just the pros — can and should take advantage. Not only can it significantly improve your golf game by providing you clubs that are precisely adjusted for your height, swing speed, loft trajectory, style — even the types of courses you play — it can save you thousands of dollars on lessons and gameimprovement gizmos. After all, what’s going to be easier — trying to change your swing to match your clubs, or picking up clubs made to perform their best with your specific swing? I finally gave up the swing-fix fight last fall and went to Puetz to be fit for a new set of irons. The whole process took about an hour, during which I hit dozens of balls with different club models, shafts and grips. Once Puetz clubfitter Ryan Christianson and I had zeroed in on a model, he had me take shots with a sticky white paper attached to the clubface that allowed him to see where on the face I was hitting the ball. Some brief adjustments to the lie and face angle were made and, voila — I had changed nothing at all about my swing, but was suddenly hitting every ball off the center of the face, and launching them high and straight down the range. It was quick, affordable and fun, and two weeks later, I had a set of clubs that felt truly “mine” — custom-made to match my game. In honor of giving ourselves the pro treatment, we’re featuring some clubs this month that have been seen sticking out of the bags of the game’s top pros this spring, from Lefty’s Masters-winning driver, to the putter Y.E. Yang used to win April’s Volvo China Open. After all, we may not all have the talent to be a pro, but at least we can swing the same custom-made sticks.
Callaway FT Tour Driver PUETZ GOLF PRICE $399.95
our days before this year’s Masters, Phil Mickelson had a problem — a big problem. His brand-new Callaway FT Tour driver, which he’d used to climb to fourth in driving distance in 2010, had a crack in it, and Augusta’s Tiger-proofed fairways aren’t the place to try to break in a new stick. By the time he teed off on Thursday, however, his money stick — having been the guest of honor on a private jet flown back to Callaway’s Performance Center near San Diego for overnight repairs — was back in Phil’s hand. The rest of the story, of course, made for some of the best golf television in years. Mickelson proceeded to rank second in driving distance over the next four days en route to his thirdcareer green jacket. So why was Mickelson so attached to his driver that he sent it on a solo cross-country flight? The FT Tour features a combination of an ultra-lightweight, 440cc composite clubhead that is perimeter-weighted to increase accuracy, and a chemically milled, titanium hyperbolic face cup that increases the size of the sweet spot to generate the fastest ball speeds of any Callaway driver. Of course, Lefty might also have just been going with the crowd — heading into the Masters, FT Tours were in the hands of five of the previous seven winners on Tour. Add Mickelson’s Masters win, and another the following week for Jim Furyk at Harbour Towne, and the club’s streak ran to seven of nine at press time. And I’m sure Phil would agree that all the “hyperbolic” and “composite” talk is great, but when it comes to choosing a club, nothing speaks louder than wins. cascadegolfer.com
IN THE BAG TaylorMade R9 SuperDeep TP PUETZ GOLF PRICE $599.95
he next time you have your swing checked out, pay attention to where on the clubface you “miss.” That is, do you tend to miss towards the heel and toe, or do you tend to keep the ball in the center, and just miss a little high or low of the sweet spot? Just weeks after rolling out its R9 SuperTri (“In The Bag,” Apr. ‘10), TaylorMade was back in the headlines with another twist on the R9 line, the brand-new SuperDeep. Where the SuperTri, with its highMOI shape and comparatively shallower face has been a boon for mid-handicappers (and a number of pros as well) willing to sacrifice a little workability in favor of increased forgiveness, the SuperDeep is a club targeted only to the best golfers. Research shows that when lowhandicappers mis-hit their drives, they tend to miss high or low of the sweet spot — not towards the toe or heel. So, TaylorMade designers set about maximizing the height — or depth — of the clubface on their next Tour-style driver, significantly increasing the size of the sweet spot for the game’s best players. With its compact size and deep face, the center of gravity on the SuperDeep is much shallower than in a game-performance club, resulting in a low trajectory that is preferred by players with super-fast swing speeds, and makes for increased workability off the tee. In addition, the SuperDeep — used by Sergio Garcia in a fourth-place finish at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championships in February — carries over all the moveable-weight technology and flight-control technology that have become a staple of both the R9 and Burner lines, increasing the customizability for pros and amateurs alike.
TaylorMade Burner SuperFast TP PUETZ GOLF PRICE $349.95
he companion to the SuperDeep is the Tour version of the club we profiled in April, the Burner SuperFast. Weighing in at just 315 grams, the SuperFast TP is slightly heavier than its gameimprovement sibling, the 285-gram SuperFast, largely owing to the fact that the low-handicappers for which it is intended typically clock faster swing speeds. The result is a lightweight, aerodynamic clubhead that generates significantly increased clubhead speeds and, therefore, ball speeds. Unlike the standard SuperFast, the SuperFast TP comes with a stiffer, heavier Matrix HD6 shaft, resulting in the lower, piercing ball flight preferred by Tour players like Retief Goosen, Mike Weir and Y.E. Yang, each of whom have made the switch to the SuperFast TP this year. Whereas the SuperDeep will appeal to the skilled golfer who favors customization (the SuperFast TP does not incorporate either the moveable weights or adjustable-head features of the R9 line) and shot-shaping over distance, the SuperFast TP will benefit the player who wants a tour-style club that doesn’t entirely shed the high-MOI forgiveness features typical of the Burner line.
IN THE BAG
Adams Golf Watson Wedges PUETZ GOLF PRICE $49.95
Titleist Vokey “C-C” Wedges
PUETZ GOLF PRICE $119.95
hen you think about Tom Watson, it’s impossible not to think about that incredible 1982 season, in particular Watson’s legendary chipin from the rough at Pebble Beach’s 17th en route to the U.S. Open title. It’s unquestionably the most-replayed shot in golf history, so when Tom Watson says he’s putting out a new line of wedges, it’s only natural to start daydreaming about trying to replicate it yourself. The same goes when you start comparing the price of the new Adams Golf Watson wedges to the other top tour wedges on the market. A tourstyle wedge for under $50? Maybe these guys have been daydreaming about 1982 a little too much. Watson’s wedges push right up to the limits of USGA conformity, allowing for maximum spin and control within the legal limits for professional players. The stainless steel construction and classic chrome finish give elite golfers the feedback they prefer, while the wide sole cuts through sand and grass without digging in. Watson could easily charge twice as much for his wedges and no one would bat an eye — even $99 would be a decent price for a tour-style club. But at this price, and with Watson’s pedigree, it’s a no-brainer for a lowhandicapper looking to maximize that golf dollar. After all, Watson may be giving you the wedge you need to replicate that chip-in, but when it comes to the Pebble Beach greens fees, you’re still on your own.
he “CC” stands for “Conditions of Competition,” Titleist’s not-sosubtle way of assuring the golf world their newest collaboration with legendary clubmaker Bob Vokey is completely compliant with the USGA’s new rules. From any more than two inches away, it’s basically impossible to tell the difference between the C-Cs and Titleist’s existing Vokey models. That’s because this club isn’t so much a new model, as simply a conforming variation of the wildly popular Vokey wedge. Featuring the same spin-milled face as the existing Vokey, the C-C provides the excellent feedback Vokey loyalists (including PGA Tour pros Geoff Ogilvy, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott and others) expect, albeit with a slightly higher launch and less spin than the existing (nonconforming) 2010 models. If you’re a mid-handicapper, and you enjoy your Vokey wedge – keep it. Pros, however, or amateurs looking to compete in USGA events, won’t have that option, and that’s where the C-C makes the perfect addition to the bag.
TaylorMade TP xFT Wedge PUETZ GOLF PRICE $129.95
or all of the focus on TaylorMade’s new driver releases this year (that’s four total since last fall, if you’re counting), perhaps their biggest newsmaker of the year is the xFT wedge, a club that could do for wedge design what TaylorMade’s cutting-edge moveable weights, adjustable heads and interchangeable shafts have done for drivers. Wedges are among the most frequently replaced clubs by golfers, for the simple reason that their success relies entirely on the ability of the grooves to bite down hard on the ball, generating maximum loft and spin. As soon as those grooves start to wear down, the club’s effectiveness drops significantly, and it’s time to head to the golf shop. “Of course,” TaylorMade’s designers thought, “why exchange the entire club when really all you need is a new face?” The result of that suggestion is the xFT, the first-ever wedge to feature a removable faceplate. Simply use the same small, white wrench that comes with the R9 line of clubs to loosen two screws, pop off the face plate, lay the new one in its place, tighten the screws, and you have yourself a brand-new wedge. A layer of urethane foam behind the faceplate reduces the vibration and increases the feel for the stronger players, while the overall design of the club retains a traditional size and shape. Best of all, a court victory by TaylorMade vs. the USGA means that faceplates are available with both the new Tour-approved ZTP grooves (like on the xFTs being used this year by Kenny Perry, Y.E. Yang, Sergio Garcia and others), or the “old” non-conforming Z grooves. Better stock up on those Z-faces, though — starting Dec. 31, 2010, TaylorMade will only be able to sell faces with the new, approved grooves, though the old ones can still be played legally by amateurs through at least 2024.
ECCO Golf Street Premiers PUETZ GOLF PRICE Starting at $129.95
TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Vicino PUETZ GOLF PRICE $199.95
lot of golfers loved TaylorMade’s original Rossa Monza Spider putter, released in 2008. They loved the perimeter weighting that made for a more consistent roll, and the moveable weights that allowed golfers to adjust the weight to match their personal preference and stroke. The only rub was those large “wings” sticking out to the sides that held the weights — for as much as golfers loved the rolls they got from the Spider, some just couldn’t get past the wings. So, on TaylorMade’s 2010 Spider model, the Vicino, they’ve tucked the wings closer to the body yet maintained the same MOI benefits of previous Spider models by using a heavier material in the wings, and a lighter material in the face, keeping the weight distribution the same across the entire head. Also, where previous Spider models have used alignment aids designed to let golfers picture the ball heading for the cup, the Vicino uses a simplified, single alignment line, letting you enjoy the functional benefits of a high-MOI, perimeter-weighted putter, without the distracting visuals.
Odyssey Backstryke PUETZ GOLF PRICE
hen it comes to putters, nobody has a better reputation in the market than Odyssey. When Phil Mickelson needs to drain a 35-footer for eagle at Augusta, he pulls out an Odyssey. When Stuart Appleby is standing over a twisting, eightfooter, he reaches for an Odyssey. This season has seen many top pros — who can sometimes be a little less inclined to play some of the wackier-looking flatsticks on the market — trying out Odyssey’s new Backstryke putter, which packages game-improvement technology into a more traditional blade or mallet shape (the popular 2-ball is pictured above; also available in Blade and Marxman models). The name “Backstryke” refers to the change Odyssey designers have made in the position of the shaft, moving it as far back from the face as possible and in line with the club’s center of gravity. That shift forces golfers to use a forward-press putting style made popular by Jack Nicklaus and recently adopted by Mickelson as well. By aligning the hands naturally forward, the Backstryke allows you to use a forward-press motion without having to angle the clubface and sacrifice consistency of roll. It also includes the White Ice inserts that have become all the rage in Odyssey putters this year, and alignment aids to ensure your ball begins its path to the cup in the right direction. Whether or not it gets there, though, is still up to you.
spent a fair part of Masters weekend watching local boy Freddie Couples, either on TV or online before the broadcast aired. Partly because of this job, I tend to pay a lot of attention to the equipment pro golfers use, and am always taking little notes on who plays what driver, what putter, etc. My wife, however, only wanted to talk about Freddie’s shoes. “Where’d he get those? You’d look good in those,” she said. And once she pointed it out, I kind of had to agree — I would look good in those. But what were they? A little digging turned up the answer. The shoes were the all-new Golf Street Premiers from Swedish footwear brand ECCO, which weren’t even formally introduced in the U.S. until three days after Freddie’s last putt at Augusta. The slick-looking shoes are meant to be worn both on and off the course, with pre-molded traction bars on the sole instead of cleats. The traction bars provide better contact with the ground, resulting in a more stable swing, while the full-grain leather uppers and stylish colors are sure to turn heads whether on the practice green, or out to dinner.
adidas THiNTech Replacement Cleats PUETZ GOLF PRICE Available on all 2010 models
know, I know – a cleat? Really? These pages are usually reserved for the latest hightech drivers or the new putter that’s all the rage on Tour. I promise you it’s worth the ink, though. The new THiNTech cleats from adidas, made available for all their 2010 footwear models, are the thinnest cleats to hit the market since the golf world said byebye to metal cleats 15 years ago. What does that mean for you? More contact with the ground, which means less slippage and better power transfer and balance, leading to more consistent contact. It’s a $15 fix that can potentially impact every stroke you take, making it at least as valuable as that $599 driver.
FootJoy Sport PUETZ GOLF PRICE $119.95
or years, my dad would only wear FootJoys. Of course, for years, it seemed as if FootJoy was the only company out there making golf shoes. Over the past two decades, however, all the major shoe manufacturers have entered the golf shoe market, transforming the golf shoe from a stiff-sided, thin-laced torture device into a stylish, comfortable fashion statement. FootJoy hasn’t gone away, though – in fact, they’ve stepped up to the challenge with the FootJoy Sport, which combines form (comfortable leather uppers and ethyl vinyl acetate inserts are both breathable and durable) with function (Stinger cleats provide superior traction and are turf-friendly). Most important to those of us around here, however, is the two-year waterproof warranty.
FROM THERAPEUTIC ASSOCIATES
Posture & Stability For Power
s you play or practice, do you find yourself comparing yourself to other players? I must admit that I do. Whether it’s their ball flight, distance off the tee, putting stroke, or the time they take over each shot, I can’t help but observe the variety of approaches and abilities players bring to the game I love. Each of us wants to know what we can do to get better. Now there is a system to help! CHUCK HANSON
Physical therapists are trained to perform screens to identify impairments PT OCS Director that prevent people from functioning at Therapeutic Assoc. North Lake their highest level. Through the Titleist Physical Therapy Performance Institute (TPI), I have learned a concise evaluation that helps direct proper training for maximum performance in golf. One key screen is basic posture and trunk stability. In the last issue of Cascade Golfer, our Golf Performance article focused on posture as the key to maintaining an alignment that is repeatable and powerful. Golf posture also serves to create a coil of the spine, hips and shoulders to maximize the transfer of energy from the body to the ball. As we take the club back — effectively winding the spring and then delivering stored energy with our downswing, impact and follow-through — balance and stability become of paramount importance. By practicing and mastering these exercises, you can establish an excellent golf posture and maximize your strength, coordination and use of your body’s mass to deliver a consistent and powerful swing!
WAITER’S BOW (fig. 1)
Stand erect with a club held against the back of your head and pelvis. Flex at the hips and knees, taking your “five-iron posture.” Remember to “lift your heart to heaven” if you have “C” (round-backed) posture. Another cue is to “sit back into a chair.” An “S” posture, or sway back, may require focus on keeping your lower abdomen engaged. Repeat this motion 5-10 times, simulating your position at address.
HIP ROTATION IN GOLF POSTURE (fig. 2)
From the position described in the Waiter’s Bow, cross your arms across your chest. Put one foot into a toetouch posture. This has effectively shifted the weight to the other side. Now perform 10-20 repetitions of controlled rotation.
TWISTER (fig. 3)
To perform this exercise, use a medium weight or medicine ball to provide resistance. While maintaining your golf posture, turn from your hips and shoulders in an integrated/coordinated way, left to right, and return repeatedly. Focus on balance and timing, being sure to transfer your weight to the lead leg on each side. Use your legs to generate power and keep your chest up to maintain your spine posture! Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds, building a stable and powerful foundation. Chuck Hanson PT, OCS is Director of Therapeutic Associates/North Lake Physical Therapy and is a TPICertified Golf Fitness Instructor. He is an ex-caddy, collegiate golfer and has treated ranked amateur and PGA Professionals.
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RISK vs. REWARD Chambers Bay Golf Course
Hole No. 13 • Par 5 • 517 yards (Sand Tees)
By Simon Dubiel
The Setup: Some might say the drivable, par-4 No. 12 could determine a U.S. Open Championship, but honestly, the reward there far outweighs the risk. The next hole, named “Eagle Eye,” is our bet for where the true big-money decisions will have to be made. It is the shortest of Chambers’ par-5s, yet only the short, par-3 15th has a shallower green. A huge waste bunker guards the right side of the fairway for much of your approach, with a central bunker and hillside taking away your bailout left.
177 Thru Fariway
As time passes, so will the forgiveness of the rough that makes up Chambers Bay. The course will mature, and short chips out of the rough will soon become hacks out of the long stuff. Anything left will leave you in this rough, on the hillside and facing a bad sidehill-downhill lie with the green sloping away from you. Sounds fun — as does trying to splash out of the large central bunker leading up the green. Needless to say, if you don’t get home in two, you might not be on in three either.
A solid drive that favors the right side can leave you with not much more than 200 to get home. Are you really thinking of laying up? Sure, the bunker in the middle can get you in trouble, but so can an 80-yard approach shot that misses right and slides down the hill, or comes up short and finds that same trap. You hear that little voice over your right shoulder? It is called a birdie. Listen to it, it’s a golfer’s best friend.
Our recent green-jacket champion, Lefty, said, “A great shot is one that you pull off, and a smart shot is the one you hit when you don’t have the guts to go try it.” Or, in gambling terms, you can’t win if you don’t bet. We like that attitude. Time to pull the trigger and try to knock down the pin.
329 321 305 280 230 255 247 231 206 159
BROWN IS THE NEW
GREEN For decades, golf courses in America have â€œbenefitedâ€? from expert, but expensive, conditioning. Might that be coming to an end? And will U.S. golfers accept the alternative?
BY TONY DEAR
LEAD PHOTO BY ROB PERRY
nless you’ve been living under a bag of fertilizer the last 5-10 years, you are almost certainly aware of the “green” revolution and the move toward environmentally-friendly practices inside the home, at the office and even throughout the factory. Golf — despite its enduring (but increasingly undeserved) reputation for throwing tons of harmful chemicals on disobedient grass that refuses to turn a certain shade of green, grow to a certain height or reach a certain thickness — is doing its part by seeking to undo the reckless excesses of the 1980s and ‘90s and replacing them with a more sustainable approach to building and maintaining courses. The result is what is becoming known as the “Browning of Golf”; ironic, of course, given that courses committed to being “green” and Earth-conscious, are actually becoming less green.
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or decades, green meant gold in the golf course development game. In order to sell lots at his new, high-end gated community, a developer needed the Nicklaus/Palmer/Fazio/Trent Jones course he was using as the carrot to possess a considerable “wow factor.” It needed to impress prospective buyers not for the quality of design necessarily, but for its visual appeal. David Wienecke, formerly a steward of the Audubon Society, a United States Golf Association (USGA) agronomist and now the Head Superintendent at Chambers Bay GC — one of 144 courses worldwide that are enrolled on the Audubon Signature Sanctuary Program (for new golf developments) — remembers a few less-than-good-humored conversations he’s had with course owners during his impressive career. “I worked at a course in Oregon where I had some heated discussions with the owner because he wanted it to look greener,” he says. “He told me he was trying to sell lots and houses, but couldn’t if the golf course looked brown and rough. I often had members come up and ask why the course was over-watered all the time.” Wienecke had the same trouble at a private club in California, where the owner’s sole consideration was selling memberships. “He used to get mad when the course wasn’t green and lush,” he says. The desire to be wall-to-wall green certainly hasn’t been an exclusively American phenomenon, but nowhere has the feeling been quite as strong as on this side of the Atlantic or, indeed, Pacific. If Lushacres Golf and Country Club had numerous fancy water hazards, huge bunkers and intricate patterns mowed on to its emerald fairways, then Verdant Hills CC, on the other side of town, needed more water, bigger bunkers and greener turf (a few colorful flowers that bloomed at the right times — but suffered indiscriminate spraying if they failed to show — certainly helped, too.) The model for all these wannabe clubs was, and still is, Augusta National, of course. The home of The Masters is a mesmerizing picture every April with its pink azaleas, dyed blue ponds and almost luminous lime-green fairways. It looks so vibrant, gorgeous, perky, vivacious and so ... so … healthy. But, as virtually every single superintendent worth his GCSAA (Golf Course Superintendents Association of America) Certification will tell you, striving for Augusta-like conditions wasn’t always — in fact, was hardly ever — an appropriate goal.
TURF WARS H Wine Valley Golf Club • No. 3
“People tended to forget that, besides its absolutely enormous maintenance budget, Augusta National was closed for nearly half the year and therefore had half the amount of play, or less, that other courses might have,” says Wienecke. Dan Hixson, who designed the very-highly acclaimed Wine Valley GC in Walla Walla, puts it like this. “Augusta alters people’s perception of maintenance. Most golfers don’t realize it is not even remotely natural or in any way, shape or form something that their club could possibly achieve. The greens have been rebuilt many times over and have sub-air drying systems to pull water out of the seed bed, and warm them during times of frost. It’s totally unrealistic to attempt to recreate the same results on different terrain and a smaller budget, with different climatic conditions, and at a course that sees 20,000 rounds a year or more.”
o what should a typical golf course — let’s define “typical” as one that doesn’t stage a major championship every year and have a small membership made up of billionaires — be striving for, specifically? The first consideration nowadays, says Hixson — even ahead of the design of the course itself — has to be the environment. “Considering the environment is everything, at least for me,” he says. “I spend a lot of time mentally reviewing what is there now, what has to change, and what we will end up with. How will the raw land convert into a healthy playing field, in the simplest way, within the budget, and create something that can be maintained practically?’ David McLay Kidd, designer of two of Oregon’s finest courses – Bandon Dunes and Tetherow (also an Audubon Signature Sanctuary) — is quick to point out that it is his responsibility to ensure he satisfies the client and, ultimately, the people that play the course, but agrees environmental issues are usually his number-one concern as well. “We are trying to create natural golf,” he adds. “And the only way to do that is to be light-handed.” Bruce Charlton, CEO of RTJ II, Robert Trent Jones, Jr.’s design firm, which last year published its 10-point Green Proclamation and which lives by the motto “of the earth … for the spirit,” has long held that architects need to listen to the land. “We should tread lightly,” he says, “move with the natural flow of water, and really use only enough of it to
ow can golf courses encourage healthy turf and decrease water consumption at the same time? Probably the best way, at a new course, is to select a drought-resistant turf that is appropriate for that particular site. Fescue, well known for helping to make the British Isles’ links courses what they are, and which requires relatively little irrigation, is slowly making a name for itself in the U.S. and especially in the Pacific Northwest, where Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Chambers Bay, Tetherow and Wine Valley were seeded almost entirely with native fine fescue (Tetherow also mixes in a little Colonial bentgrass while Wine Valley has a little blugrass). Fescue does not take kindly to being driven over by carts (hence walking-only policies at Chambers Bay and Bandon Dunes) and takes a while to establish. Once it does take root, however, it is extremely durable, disease-resistant and, compared with other thirstier varieties, not much of a drinker. It is therefore relatively low-maintenance, and happily turns … wait for it … brown. But, says Ken Nice, that’s not to say it doesn’t need looking after. Thatch (accumulation of live and dead stems, leaves and roots between the between the layer of actively-growing grass and the soil underneath) has to be monitored closely, and the playing surfaces need to be top-dressed fairly frequently (greens and tees every three weeks, fairways every six weeks). Ultimately though, if fescue and bentgrass were teenagers, the bent would be testy and over-sensitive, requiring constant observation, encouragement and manipulation, while you could leave the fescue pretty much to his own devices, look in occasionally and discover he’d actually done just fine without you. In short, fescue is more reliable and needs a good deal less manpower, water, fertilizer and pesticide to flourish. The only potential snag with fescue, other than taking its time to establish and not coping well with too much traffic, is that it doesn’t lend itself to fast putting surfaces. Stimpmeter readings of seven and eight at Chambers Bay have not been universally popular with an American golfing public used to readings of 10 or 11. But the greens there feature some extremely large borrows
and were not designed to be quick. Superintendent David Wienecke will seek to have them running at 10 or thereabouts come August, when the course hosts the U.S. Amateur Championship, but any faster than that, and some golfers might not ever get their ball in the hole. Fast greens, though, cannot only be frustrating for the higher-handicap golfer, they can also slow down play, says Bruce Charlton. “We built a course in Arizona called Las Sendas which started out with extremely fast putting surfaces,” he says. “But a lot of high handicappers complained they were too difficult, so the superintendent let the grass grow a little longer. Not only did the complaints stop, the average round was now almost half an hour shorter, because players were spending less time putting.” Another turf variety gaining recognition and popularity with both golfers and superintendents is Seashore Paspalum, which looks great, plays great and tolerates salt-water far better than Bermudagrass, which it has replaced at a number of courses in warm climates — especially on the islands of Hawaii. Seashore paspalum has a wonderful light green color, is very durable and can be irrigated with salt-water, reclaimed water or even effluent (though most golfers would probably think twice before walking a course covered with sewage). Like fescue, seashore paspalum requires less fertilizer, irrigation, and pesticide than bent or Bermuda but, unlike fescue, can take a bit of traffic, be cut as low as one tenth of an inch and retain its color even in high temperatures. It couldn’t deal with Chambers Bay’s cold temperatures, however, and doesn’t venture further north than about 35˚ latitude (think southern California). Paspalum will likely be seen as something of a savior for golfers who still need their green-grass fix, but it won’t work everywhere. In most places, golfers will probably have to get used to browner grass and courses that are sensibly maintained, rather than excessively manicured. But, once they see how much more enjoyable the game is, how much money they could potentially save in green fees and dues, and observe the benefits it has on the local environment, they’ll soon come around. — TD
PHOTO BY ROB PERRY
Chambers Bay • No. 13 JUNE 2010
Chambers Bay • No. 12
keep the grass alive.” There will be golfers stuck in the ‘90s who see Augusta National and still hope and expect similar conditions at their course, for whom talk of treading lightly, being lighthanded, considering the environment first and using only enough water to keep the grass alive, will sound like the tedious bleating of tree-hugging lunatics. But — and here’s the good bit, says Charlton; and Kidd; and Hixson; and John Harbottle, who designed the superb Palouse Ridge in Pullman; and Wienecke; and Ken Nice, Director of Agronomy at Bandon Dunes; and Todd Lupkes, Palouse Ridge’s Superintendent; and Dave Munkvold, President of the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA); and just about every single other sensible individual involved in the creation and upkeep of golf courses in the 21st century — environmentally-friendly golf courses, those that are built and maintained with a determined effort to minimize disruption to the ecology and bionetwork of the immediate area, not only protect that rare butterfly which lives in the woods behind the sixth green, ensure less toxic waste material leaks into the watershed, and use up to half as much water as they otherwise could (thus saving major dollars), they also tend to be a lot more entertaining than your average overwatered, would-be Augusta. “It’s a happy coincidence,” says Charlton. “Building courses in a way that protects the natural surroundings
PHOTO BY ROB PERRY
also tends to result in far more interesting playing surfaces, which add a whole new dimension of fun to the game. Every time I go to Scotland, I am amazed by all those relatively unkempt courses that cost about £12 (about $18) to play but which are always packed with people having an absolute blast. There is no attempt to beautify the course artificially, so green fees are kept to a minimum and the environment is protected.” It’s a combination of benefits that virtually every other
architect or superintendent we spoke with picked up on. “All the negative issues of manicured golf are easily addressed if the course is created with nature taking the lead,” says Kidd. “The design is easier and less expensive to build, the maintenance is easier and less expensive to manage, the permitting is easier to negotiate, the use of water, fertilizers and pesticides is significantly reduced. Greens fees therefore go down and, most importantly, golfers usually love the result.”
Tetherow Golf Club • No. 6 PHOTO BY MIKE HOUSKA
“Natural, minimalist courses tend to possess greater variety and more character,” says Harbottle. “They are inspiring, easier to build and less expensive to maintain. They are sustainable and have economic and philosophical benefits. Green courses tend to be soft courses which reduce the ability to play running shots. But the game is much more fun when conditions are firm and fast. Golf was meant to be played on firm surfaces. It promotes better shot-making and creativity. For the environment and the golfer, it is much more important to be firm than green.” Munkvold, who insists his organization’s members are active in suggesting to developers and architects ways in which damage to the environment can be reduced, if not avoided altogether, welcomes the shift toward firmer, less-heavily maintained courses. “This type is typically easier to build, less expensive, and will cost less for years to come in maintenance expenses,” he says. Hixson, who speaks as passionately on the subject as anyone, says architects can help protect the environment and reduce building/maintenance costs simply by paying better attention to the site’s topsoil. “The longer I design golf courses, the more I’ve come to understand the value of topsoil,” he says. “It is best left alone. I know many courses in the Portland area where no real effort was made to protect the topsoil. The shaping of the hole often buried the good soils and turf was planted on the subsoils. The result is that courses struggle with drainage and require much higher fertilizer inputs in order to grow quality turf.” A good superintendent can still grow nice turf there, Hixson adds, but he has to work a lot harder and spend an awful lot more money to achieve good results. “Healthy soils make for healthy turf,” he says, “and healthy turf needs less water and chemicals. It’s pretty simple.”
they assume brown turf is dead turf.” Hixson agrees: “It’s going to take a while before brown and firm is accepted here, which is too bad, because not only does green and soft cost more to maintain, it’s not half as much fun.” Tony Dear is an award-winning golf writer and author of four books, including 2009’s “The Golfer’s Handbook: Tips, Wit and Wisdom to Inform and Entertain,” available through Amazon.com. He has written numerous stories for Cascade Golfer, including the April 2010 feature on PGA pro Ryan Moore.
olf’s shift toward sustainability and courses that enhance their surroundings, rather than pollute them, began a few years ago. But, according to Bruce Charlton, Dan Hixson and others, American golfers will need at least 10 more years before they truly accept the browning of golf. “It’s going to be a tough sell here in the U.S.,” says Charlton. “Golfers are not yet in tune with fast and firm, as
PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS Following are a list of some of the top amateur events played in Central Oregon this year: CENTRAL OREGON SHOOTOUT APR. 22-25 Aspen Lakes, Black Butte Ranch, Eagle Crest blackbutteranch.com
Tetherow Golf Club • Bend PHOTO BY MIKE HOUSKA
But a buddy of ours, Inside Golf editor Steve Turcotte, said the Shootout needed more players in the gross division, so we decided to offer our carcasses for the vastly superior players to feast upon. And feast they did. It’s a fun format – the first day’s a two-man scramble; the second is a best ball; the third’s a Chapman – you both hit drives, then hit your partner’s drive, then you choose one ball and play alternate shot after that. At some point, usually early on for us, the Chapman format turns into a complete fiasco. For me, it’s frequently filled with a bunch of “Sorry, Joes” as my partner heads into the woods to hit our next shot. This year, as an added bonus, on our first hole at Aspen Lakes (the par-5 18th) during the best-ball portion of the competition, I duck-hooked my first two balls out of bounds, producing the first two “Sorry, Joes” of the day before we’d even left the tee. Of course, when you’re a 14, that’s not enough buffoonery for one tournament. I have this problem with chipping. I don’t know what it is — it’s not that difficult to chip, it really isn’t, but for me it is, and it bothers me that I’m such a mental midget that I can’t overcome this problem. Last year in the Pacific Amateur at Sunriver’s Woodlands course, I hit what would be called an amazingly bad chip if anyone else had hit it but me. With me, you can take the “amazingly” out of it and replace it with “predictably,” because this is what always happens. I looked at the guy I was playing with and said: “I can’t
believe that I’ve been playing for 35 years and just hit that shot. Anyone who’s been playing for 35 years should never hit a shot like that.” The guy didn’t know what to say – “Yeah, you really stink,” would have been the appropriate comeback, but he was too nice to slam me with a shot like that. He just looked at me, and while I looked at him it dawned on me that this guy was maybe 30 years old and I’ve been hitting these bad chips for five more years than he’s been alive. Anyway, back to this year’s Central Oregon Shootout … we’re surprisingly even par through eight holes of the Chapman format, and we get to a par-3 at the Big Meadow course at Black Butte – I forget which one because I don’t want to remember too much about it. Joe puts his tee shot a little left of the green. I have a 20-yard chip to the hole. It’s a straightforward shot for golfers with brain cells. There’s a small patch of rough to negotiate, then the fringe, then plenty of green to work with after that. I tried to envision the ball going over the rough, onto the fringe and rolling nicely toward the hole, maybe even in, but if not, somewhere close enough so that Joe could knock it in for par. But when you’re a bad chipper, it’s hard to envision magnificence. Instead, you think to yourself, Whatever you do, don’t chunk it. Or don’t blade it across the green. Don’t embarrass yourself in front of guys who are low single-digits, OK? That’s bad enough, but then I came up with the
BEND LADIES INVITATIONAL JUNE 7-9 Bend Golf Club • Bend bendgolfclub.com PNWPGA OREGON OPEN* JUNE 15-17 Juniper Golf Club • Redmond pnwpga.com *
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CENTRAL OREGON SCRAMBLE JUNE 19-20 Juniper Golf Club • Redmond junipergolf.com OREGON MID-AMATEUR JULY 10-11 Brasada Ranch Golf Course • Powell Butte oga.org PACIFIC AMATEUR GOLF CLASSIC AUG. 30-SEPT. 4 Several courses • Championship at Crosswater at Sunriver pacamgolf.com PNGA MID-AMATEUR SEPT. 15-17 Juniper Golf Club • Redmond thepnga.org
WHERE TO STAY Planning to make the trip down to Bend/Sisters this Eagle Crest Resort • Redmond year to take advantage of one of these terrific events? As with any destination golf hotbed, there’s no shortage of hotels, motels, resorts and lodges that cater specifically to the golf traveler. Rather than spending hours poring through hotel and golf course websites to plan your perfect Central Oregon golf weekend, we recommend resting those all-important golf muscles at Seventh Mountain Resort (877-765-1501, seventhmountain.com), just seven miles outside of Bend proper on the banks of the Deschutes River. What puts Seventh Mountain (pictured above) at the top of our list? Location, location, location. Literally adjacent to the terrific Widgi Creek Golf Course, and within minutes of Tetherow, Pronghorn, Lost Tracks and Aspen Lakes, it’s impossible to stay closer to the action without bunking down in an actual bunker. And with a full slate of resort amenities and a luxurious lodge setting surrounded by mountains, forests and the soothing Deschutes River, it’s the perfect place to relax in between forays to the fairways. Rates start as low as $99 a night, while the resort offers stay-and-play packages that will put you on the first tee at some of the most exclusive local courses (including the aforementioned Pronghorn and Tetherow) at rates starting as low as $209 per person for a two-night, two-round stay.
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absolute worst thing you could possibly think of as a preshot swing thought: DON’T DOUBLE-HIT THIS CHIP!!!!! I have done that many times before, pulling a complete T.C. Chen, the man who is forever known as the guy who double-hit a shot in the U.S. Open. Sure enough, that’s what happened. I proceeded to double-hit my chip. It put me into a sheepish stupor that I never came out of the rest of the round. I’ve found that the only thing that helps in these situations is booze. It’s pathetic, I know. But oftentimes it helps. And it never hurts … until the next morning anyway. I blame this on a flight that I took from Phoenix to Seattle many years ago. I happened to be seated next to a female pro who gave lessons to many amateur male golfers. She said the best advice she ever gives to men is this: “Because you have this urge to kill the ball, you need to relax, and it might help if you had a drink or two before you tee off.” On occasion I’ve taken this advice to extremes, but what the heck — you’re on vacation, so why not? At Aspen Lakes during the Central Oregon Shootout, we reached the par-3 12th and spotted the beverage cart. I decided to buy shots of Jack Daniels for our foursome, and we all played better after that. There must be some kind of correlation there, but I’ve yet to see Hank Haney or Butch Harmon give a tip that mentions Jack Daniels — though they should. Speaking of beverage carts, true story … in the 2008 Central Oregon Shootout, Joe and I were playing with a guy named Ken and his partner. We get to the par-5 fifth, and Ken eagles the hole. Then, when we’re on the sixth tee, Ken tells us that he met his wife when she was a beverage-cart girl. This ruined my day. Not only did Ken eagle a hole that we parred, but the guy married a beverage-cart girl — stealing my fantasy. In my mind, a life that is lived happily ever after is one that involves a beverage-cart girl. Ken is not only living that life, but he also just went two strokes ahead of me. I really hated Ken.
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he Pacific Amateur is an event that features nearly 700 golfers who tee it up on some of the top tracks in the area, including Eagle Crest, Aspen Lakes and many others. Entering its 14th year, It began as another way to attract people to the Sunriver/Bend area during a second shoulder season, between summer and fall. In the past, the event was held during the first few days of October, but tournament organizers moved the Pac-Am to Aug. 30 to Sept. 4 this year in hopes of getting warmer weather. In the Pac-Am, if you finish in the top two of your flight, you qualify to play a fourth round at Sunriver’s Crosswater course — still in prime form after having hosted Greg Norman, Tom Watson and Co. at the PGA Champions Tour’s JELD-WEN Tradition just two weeks before. It is one of the coolest things ever for amateur hackers. I’ve played in every Pac-Am and made the final round twice. Two years ago there was a two-hour snow delay, but none of that mattered. It was cold, but I wore seven layers of clothes and got through it just fine. In the final round, you feel like you’re playing in a PGA Tour event or something. Scorers follow
you around, and there’s even a guy with a little leaderboard placard that shows your current score to anyone who might be watching. The last time I made the final round, I got an added bonus of watching the two guys in the other cart almost get into a fight. They just didn’t like each other for some reason – I didn’t care what the reason was, I found their immaturity amusing and wasn’t sure what I was going to do if they started brawling. I didn’t know if I should act as peacemaker and try to break it up or sit back and watch them throw one roundhouse after another. I was leaning toward the latter, but unfortunately, cooler heads prevailed. These are the kinds of things that can happen when a bunch of guys get together for rounds of golf in a tournament setting in Central Oregon. Care to join in on the fun? Jim Moore is a freelancer who writes sports columns for seattlepi.com and for his website, jimmoorethego2guy.com. He can also be heard weekdays from 3-6 p.m. on “The Kevin Calabro Show” on 710 ESPN Seattle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ost golfers readily would agree that golf and wine don’t mix. You just don’t drink and drive. However, there’s a bunch of folks in Central and Eastern Washington who believe the golf and wine form the perfect combination, one that can have quite the symbiotic relationship. “Golfers like variety and so do wine enthusiasts,’’ said Jon Kinloch, general manager of Apple Tree Resort in Yakima. “Golfers like visiting different courses and wine drinkers like different wines. It’s a good fit. Our biggest challenge is making that connection and working together. “There certainly has been growth in wine tours in the Yakima Valley. We’ve spent a fair amount of time harnessing that opportunity and making sense of it. The demographics are intertwined.’’ Over the past couple decades, both the destination golf resorts beyond the Cascades, as well as the Eastern Washington burgeoning wine industry, have made significant economic contributions to the region’s and state’s economy. Their growths have paralleled each other, providing thousands of jobs, billions in revenues and millions into the state’s tax coffers. “I think there’s a lot of connections,’’ said Kris Watkins, CEO of the Tri-Cities Visitors and Convention Bureau. “Not everyone who goes to the wineries golfs and not every golfer drinks wine. But I find the two, on the whole, go hand-in-hand.’’ Her bureau makes it easy for golfers and wine enthusiasts to intertwine, particularly those on the west side of the mountains, from Portland to Seattle to British Columbia. They can find information on both leisure pursuits on golfwinecountry.com. The web site promotes four prominent Tri-Cities golf clubs, Canyon Lakes, Columbia Point, Sun Willows and Horn Rapids. The site also lists hotels and makes suggestions for visiting any of more than 160 wineries in the Columbia Valley. “They may be here for three or four days and golf in the mornings,’’ Watkins said. “Maybe they don’t want to play another round in the afternoon so they go experience a winery. It’s just an added thing to do. Couples come over and enjoy the quality of life here and what the region has to offer.’’
BY BOB SHERWIN The Tri-Cities area — Richland, Pasco and Kennewick — is similar to other wine regions such as Yakima and the Lake Chelan/Wenatchee areas. Golfers and wine enthusiasts both flock to Eastern Washington in the summer, many for the same crossover reasons. “From our end, certainly we’ve noticed they’ve (wine enthusiasts/golfers) been drawn to this area,’’ says Cory Pickeral, a PGA professional at Bear Mountain Ranch, a stunning, five-year-old course carved into the mountainside above Lake Chelan. “There are more people who want the benefits of the wineries, the resorts and courses. There is more interest in valley now, not just the lake. We have some world-class wineries that have won awards.’’ The first winery in the Chelan area was established 13 years ago. Now there are 14. Yet, that’s nothing compared to the Walla Walla area. “There were 14 wineries when I came here in 1999. There are more than 120 now,’’ said John Thorsnes, director of golf for the one-year-old Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla. “The first three were started in 1979, ‘80 and ‘81. It grew slowly then the area started being recognized for its quality wines.’’
inemaking is not new in Washington. Primitive wine production started in the mid-1800s by German and Italian immigrants who recognized the ideal Eastern Washington soil and climate conditions. The Cascade Mountains create a “rain shadow” that limits the consistent rainfall found on the western side. These drier conditions, along with more sunshine during the day and cooler nights relative to the prime California wine-growing regions, create an optimum mix. However, it took more than 100 years to develop the right kind of grapes for the world to appreciate the quality nectar those vineyards produce. In the late 1950s, a handful of professors at the University of Washington formed a commercial enterprise, Associated Vintners,
which later became Columbia Winery. In 1954, two Columbia Valley wineries, Nawico and Pommerelle, merged into a new winery, American Wine Growers, and that would eventually become Chateau Ste. Michelle. Columbia Winery and Chateau Ste. Michelle are now the two biggest and most honored wineries in the state. Their wine is renown throughout the world. They were part of the “Merlot Craze” in the 1980s and ‘90s that swept the country — and the wine-drinking world. Washington wines rode that wave to become serious players in the industry, rivaling the best any country could produce. Chateau Ste. Michelle was named “Best American Winery” in 1988, and in 1989, five Washington wines made Wine Spectator’s “Top 100” list for the first time. In the ‘90s, Washington wines continually won blind taste tests, beating more established and prestigious California and French wines. The Washington Wine Commission, established in 1987, stepped up its campaign and the state’s wine industry soared. “We were getting visitors from France, Britain Germany. We could see that in our guest books,’’ Watkins said. “The wineries were telling us about all this. We knew about the Napa impact in California, where they attract more visitors to the state than Disneyland. “I remember in 1998 we brought in a bunch of people for a wine tourism symposium to see the potential for the wineries,’’ she added. “I think they were thinking, what does one have to do with the other (wine and tourism)? By end of the seminar, the light went on.’’ By the beginning of the century, the wine industry was generating more than 2.4 billion dollars annually for the Washington state economy, employing 15,000 people and harvesting more than 165,000 tons of grapes each year. Washington wine ranks second in production behind California, and it ships to more than 40 countries. And it just continues to blossom. Just three years ago, there were more than 500 wineries in the state. Two years later, there were more than 600.
ut wine is far from the only contributor to Central and Eastern Washington’s economy — nor is it the only
Tsillan Cellars Winery
n no region of Washington state is the growth and marriage of Washington’s wine and golf industries more evident than in the hills and mountains around Lake Chelan. The sleepy county — it’s 66,000 residents wouldn’t even fill Husky Stadium — has long been the secluded getaway for city dwellers in the know, who spend weekends on the lake fishing, enjoying water sports and basking in the moderate summertime temperatures that rarely climb above 90. These days, Lake Chelan attracts thousands of vacationers seeking not just a pretty lakeside view, but some of the finest fairways and Chardonnays our state has to offer. No fewer than 14 wineries have made their home in the hills around Lake Chelan, while the opening of the outstanding Bear Mountain Ranch high atop a ridge overlooking the lake and vineyards below, plus the continued improvement of local munis like Lake Chelan Golf Course (at just $37, one of the region’s best bargains — lakechelangolf.com, 800-2465361), has begun attracting Puget Sound golfers in equal abundance. While it can be done as a day trip, most visitors stay over for at least 1-2 nights, maximizing their golfing and tasting options without having to sacrifice the leisurely pace that such a getaway demands. Few area hotels
cater to such vacationers like the Lake House at Chelan (509-293-5982, thelakehousechelan.com), a luxury, private-ownership and vacation-rental property that offers money-saving packages including golf and/or limousine tours of the region’s top wineries, plus dinner service, access to the property’s recreational facilities and — in some cases — sunset dinner cruises on the lake or private massages at the on-site Spa. Early-booking discounts increase the savings even more — freeing up more green to spend on that delicious fruity juice. If you’re planning to golf and taste, just remember Cascade Golfer’s one simple rule of all wine and golf getaways — whether in the car or on the fairway, it never pays to drink and drive. — Brian Beaky
draw to the region for thousands of Puget Sound and outof-state tourists. Apple Tree, with its distinctive apple-shaped No. 17 island green, opened in 1992 and was among the first courses in the region to catch the eye of Western Washington golfers. “When the course was built, there were no other courses of its caliber anywhere in the region,’’ Kinloch said. “There was a strong push for out-of-area golfers. We had good weather, easy access. There were waves of people coming here. Everyone wanted to play it. Now there is a nice balance among destination-resort golfers, tournaments and a really good solid local base.’’ Canyon Lakes, opened in 1980, was the engine that powered the Tri-Cities’ rise to golf prominence. Watkins said she worked in real estate during the 1980s and remembers placing fliers about the course in hotels and businesses in the local community, as well as in Seattle. “One great course can draw people in. Golfers will naturally flock to it,’’ Watkins said. “It’s like you need a couple big stores to anchor a mall. Canyon Lakes played a big part in putting us on the map. Also Sun Willows. Now it’s quite a golf community.’’ Throughout the region, others courses sprung up or existing courses underwent major improvements to lure the growing destination golf market — Wenatchee’s Desert Canyon and Highlander, Pullman’s Palouse Ridge, The Links at Moses Pointe and Cle Elum’s Suncadia. In April, the Washington Golf Alliance — a lobbyist group backed by various state golf organizations — unveiled its study on the economic benefits of the state’s golf industry. Bottom line, it determined that the direct economic impact is $1.2 billion, while the indirect impact — such as new construction and residential development, retail sales, and demand for a myriad of goods and services — was around $2.5 billion. Revenues generated by golf of $679.5 million is more than all other spectator sports in the state combined, including professional or collegiate football, baseball and basketball.
Leavenworth Golf Course
ROAD HOLES THE CASCADE GOLFER WINE TRAIL
ver the past few years, however, golf tourism has been fairly flat, primarily because of the struggling economy. But the wine industry continues to flourish, with a new winery opening every 15 days. Unfortunately, the sinking economy over the past few years has impacted the flow of traffic. Last summer, Cascade Golfer put together the Cascade Golfer Wine Trail, a series of two- and threeday trips to the state’s premier wine and golf regions of Chelan, Yakima and Walla Walla, connecting morning rounds on the region’s top courses with afternoon visits to the state’s top wineries. Popular pairings include stops at Leavenworth Golf Course, Bear Mountain Ranch, Lake Chelan Golf Course and Desert Canyon on a trip to Chelan, visits to Apple Tree and Desert Aire while sipping in Yakima, or hitting up Wine Valley, Horn Rapids or Canyon Lakes while in and around Walla Walla. Representatives of both industries agree that such tourists — combining a passion for golf and wine into one fun, relaxing weekend — represent a key demographic, drawing the golfers to the wineries, and vice versa. “The big golf push ended about three years ago. We’ve seen a downturn in that area,’’ said Bear Mountain’s Pickeral. “We need to be more creative in marketing. We have the wineries and the lake, more reasons to come here. More family vacations.’’ The wineries have been more organized and collaborative in their marketing than the courses. The industry also has a marketing overseer, the Washington Wine Commission, whose mission statement is to promote all Washington wines. On the flipside, as Apple Tree’s Kinloch says, “Every course is for itself.” Coron Polley, general manager of one of Central Washington’s top destination resorts, Desert Canyon, said a comprehensive marketing organization “would be something to consider, working together more instead of
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considering ourselves competitors. When people take golf vacations, they don’t want to play five times on the same course. They want to play three or four good courses. “We made attempts to work cooperatively with other courses, especially Bear Mountain. It takes the local manager and owner to get together and work on it.’’ Wine Valley’s Thorsnes added, “That’s changing. We’ve had extensive talks with Wildhorse, Circling Raven and Palouse Ridge. We’ve talked a lot about forming a team. I think that will happen.’’ What’s more, given the growth they see all around them in the wine industry — and vice versa — it behooves leaders in both industries to work together for a mutual benefit. “Absolutely. That’s who I’m trying to tap into,’’ said Thorsnes. “We have 400,000 visitors who come here every year. We’re starting to establish a relationship with the wineries. There are seven within five minutes of us.’’ Wine Valley will host the 2010 Northwest Open, one of the state’s oldest and most prestigious tournaments, on Aug. 23-25. As part of the Pro-Am portion of the event, 10 local wineries will sponsor a dinner at the Marcus Whitman Hotel. There also will be winery tours for the participants’ spouses and family members during the day. Tom Glase, owner of Balboa Winery in Walla Walla, will be one of the hosts. “The trend I see this time of year is that probably 80 percent of the people coming through our tasting room are golfers,’’ Glase said. Thorsnes added that the visitors “are finding it a really good crossover.’’
Leavenworth Golf Course
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Wine Valley Golf Club
That crossover also is over gender lines. Throughout the region, general managers consistently are seeing more female visitors than ever before. “We never had a great number of women golfers come here. That changed last couple years,’’ Desert Canyon’s Polley said. “We’ll have groups of ladies stay in our lodging, golf in the morning, then go to the Chelan wineries in the afternoon or down the Wenatchee Valley and the Leavenworth area. “Traditionally, I’d say 90 percent of our visitors are from the Seattle area, and 95 percent of those are guys. But we’ve certainly seen a change with more women.’’
EASY, AFFORDABLE SUMMER GETAWAY
Both wineries and golf courses have the same deficiency in common — winter. They each go through at least five months of little or no activity. That means — particularly for the golf resorts — it takes a fair amount of courage to invest millions into a project, knowing that one-third of the year they are moribund. Nevertheless, the region has seen some of the most stunning courses built over the past five years, including Suncadia (2005), Bear Mountain Ranch (2005), Palouse Ridge (2008) and Wine Valley (2009), adding to established gems like Apple Tree, Leavenworth, the Links at Moses Pointe, and the impressively-refurbished Desert Canyon. Perhaps the best mingling of the two pursuits — one that could be a precursor for other such projects — is Swiftwater Cellars winery, due to open in September within the Suncadia Resort. The winery is being built across from the ninth hole at the new Rope Rider course. The course’s pro shop actually will be within the winery/restaurant itself. “It’s not just taking a limo and visiting four or five tasting rooms, but more about coming for the afternoon and enjoying a meal,’’ said Dixie Huey, representing Swiftwater. “We wanted to build a place where wine and golf are great enhancing trends so that people might plan a trip just for that.’’ In 2011, there are plans to build 20 fractional ownership wine/golf cottages around the winery to accommodate the destination golfer/wine enthusiast. It’s a made-across-the-Cascades marriage, golf and wine. The two go hand in hand — just not at the same time. After all, it’s hard to keep from spilling on your backswing. Bob Sherwin is a three-year contributor to Cascade Golfer. He also writes for the New York Times, the Associated Press and MLB.com. cascadegolfer.com
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SAVE SOME GREEN
SUMMER RULES West Seattle Golf Course • No. 16
BY BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR
s the editor of the region’s largest golf magazine, I’m frequently asked the question, “So what’s the best course around here?” It’s actually one of the most difficult questions I hear (besides those that come from my five-yearold son, who has a pressing need to know how everything works, and assumes good ‘ol dad has all the answers). That’s because “best” can have so many meanings. Do you mean the most luxurious course? Well, then that would be places like Sahalee or Desert Canyon, where you’d be hard-pressed to find a blade of grass out of place. Do you mean the course with the most stunning views? Chalk up a win, then, for Bear Mountain Ranch or Coal Creek at Newcastle, both of which offer panoramic vistas that add an epic feel to every shot. If we’re talking about the tracks with the most memorable holes, then my answer would be Chambers Bay and its unique bluffside layout, or maybe Gold Mountain’s Olympic. Or is the “best” course the one with the most quality at a lower price point? If that’s the case, then I’d shoot places like McCormick Woods, Kayak Point and Eagles Pride at Fort Lewis up the list. And of course, it’s all completely subjective. I’ve loved courses that friends had told me they didn’t like, and have even flipped my own opinion on a course from one round to the next. Personally, I’ve always placed a premium on value – after all, there are only so many golf dollars we can all spend in one year, and whether your budget is $30 a round, $50 a round, $75 a round or more, there’s value to be had at every price point. So, my favorites tend to be the ones where I feel like every dollar is a dollar well-spent. That said, here are a few local tracks from around the region that will give you the most bang for your buck this summer. Are they the “best”? Well, that’s entirely up to you.
West Seattle Golf Course SEATTLE
Long has West Seattle Golf Course been a favorite for the Northwest golfer looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the grind that everyday life brings, without having to commute outside the city limits. Opened in 1940, West Seattle has treated thousands and thousands of golfers to its spectacular skyline views of downtown, yet 70 years later the course has never looked better. And still, more improvements are on the way. Plans are in the mix to bring a doubledeck driving range to the facility, with up to 50 stalls, set to break ground in 2011 and open in 2012. The range will be located directly behind the ninth hole between 35th St. and the golf course and will only add to this golfer’s opinion that West Seattle GC is one of the better munis you will find anywhere. Being able to hit a bucket before any round is always nice, and with a par-5 awaiting your first tee shot, West Seattle is no different. In reality, No. 1 is one of the more straightforward holes on the course and, along with the short par-4 second, is one of the better scoring opportunities on the front nine. The course really picks up steam with Nos. 4 and 5, back-to-back dogleggers, with trees lining both sides of the fairway. Perhaps the easiest hole on the course is the short and open par-4 seventh, offering golfers a chance to get a stroke back. Use it, as No. 8 is a tough dogleg left par-4 with an uphill approach shot to a tough, sloping green. The front ends as it begins, with a par-5. However, No. 9 is not the get-home-in-two variety. If you are lucky enough to find the putting surface with your third, a nasty back-to-front, right-to-left green awaits the flatstick. If you get out of there with a five, reward yourself on the turn. The back nine gets you started with a risk-reward hole, the downhill par-4 10th. A straight drive will leave you with a flip wedge. This is followed by a short, downhill par-3 before leading you to the “chute,” and the only par-5 on the back nine. Your drive must be accurate from the start before heading to a fairly generous landing area, but the angle you take is key. From there, you can lay up onto the hill or dig deep and try to carry it all the way to the putting surface. Starting on 14, the golfer will alternate between uphill dogleg right and downhill dogleg left par-4s. However, this is what makes West Seattle what it is. Some of the best views in the city are seen from these holes and the final stretch will put your game — and any for any walker, your legs — to the test. — Simon Dubiel
BEST HOLE Many votes would go for No. 12, as they should, but don’t overlook No. 14. The hole is uphill from the start and your drive must be straight and true. Anything right will get caught up in the trees; anything left will carry through either into the OB or the 12th fairway. Too straight can find the fairway bunker — not the ideal spot for an uphill approach towards one of the most difficult greens you will find anywhere, and also protected by a deep bunker eating up anything short left.
YARDAGE 6,004-6,725 RATES $23-37 WEB premiergc.com/west-seattle.php TEL (206) 935-5187 54
Auburn Golf Course AUBURN
As recently as 2000, there weren’t many golfers outside of Auburn making their way across the Green River to play the city’s municipal track. Heck, with Druids Glen (1997) and Washington National (2000) having popped onto the golf map just a stone’s throw away, even the local golfers were taking their games – and their dollars — elsewhere. Before a trickle could become a trend, however, the city began pouring money into improvements at the course — regrading the fairways to improve drainage, rebuilding greens, moving tees to lengthen (and toughen) the course and, in late 2007, opening a sparkling new clubhouse and restaurant. The improvements have served to transform the course from a regional afterthought, into a worthy rival of not only the other popular Rainier Valley tracks, but the region’s other great city-owned tracks (West Seattle, Legion Memorial, Lake Spanaway, et. al) as well. The course’s many improvements aren’t as noticeable for the first 10 holes, which play flat and fairly straightforward, with nary a water hazard to be seen before the tricky, three-shot, par-5 ninth. Just one of the six front-nine par-4s (par-35 to the back nine’s 36) extends past 393 yards from the tips, while the layout is wide open enough to let the free swingers bash away without fear. The 10th, however, marks the last time a golfer may pull out the driver without at least a moment’s trepidation. The par-4 11th narrows significantly and heads straight uphill to a blind green, a complete departure from the holes you’ve played previously. The
next four holes are played entirely amongst trees atop the ridge, before a 60-foot descent from tee to fairway at the par-4 15th brings you back to the valley floor. That sets up the course’s signature hole, the par-3 16th and its forced carry over water to a well-protected green. Survive it with par or better, and your reward is a closing duo that are more front nine than back, requiring just a few well-placed shots for par or better. And that’s perhaps what’s best about Auburn’s new look — while the added length and new greens have ramped the challenge up enough to satisfy the mid-to-low handicappers, it’s still fair enough to give a good score to those who can avoid the big numbers in the six-hole stretch from 11 to 16. Afterwards, grab a drink in the still-as-good-as-new Copper Falls Restaurant and Bar and appreciate a golfer’s – and a city’s — job well done.
BEST HOLE There’s a reason Auburn’s 16th was named to Cascade Golfer’s 2009 Dream 18. At a 175-yard carry over water from the tips, it’s long enough to require a mid-iron for most golfers, which must be played to a shallow, two-tiered green with a waterfall behind and bunkers on three sides, including an intimidating pot bunker right. It all looks pretty from the tee, but you’ll think different after you’ve carded your 5.
YARDAGE 5,474-6,354 RATES $23-$37 WEB auburngolf.org TEL (253) 833-2350
Best Kept Secret Glen Acres Golf & Country Club 100 S. 112th St. • Seattle, WA 98168
Beautiful Golf Course Reasonable Fees & Dues Close to Everything View of Downtown Skyline Full Amenity Clubhouse & Lounge
glenacresgolf.com (206) 244-1720
Adrian Kelly OWnER
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SALES & CAtERinG DiRECtOR
Auburn Golf Course • No. 16
435 S. 152nd Street Burien, WA 98166 (206) 244-1177 mickkellyscatering.com JUNE 2010
Golf Club at Echo Falls • No. 11 PHOTO BY ROB PERRY
Golf Club at Echo Falls SNOHOMISH
Echo Falls isn’t the state’s longest course – in fact, at just under 6,000 yards from the tips, it’s almost certainly one of the shortest. It’s also not the toughest (a slope of 122 from the tips, merely “above average”), the most scenic (mostly surrounded by trees until opening up to a lake at 17) or the fastest-paced (slow play can be an issue, even though the course strives to hold players to a 4 ½-hour round). But it might well be the most interesting, and at around $40 on weekdays (down as low as $25 for early birds), it’s a great value during the peak summer season. Seemingly every hole plays either uphill or downhill, making club selection a tricky task for the first-timer. The par-5s are almost all reachable in two, their 500-plus-yard lengths cut down significantly by massive downslopes. It’s not at all uncommon to see a golfer’s second shot at the 526-yard sixth, for example, cover 240 yards in the air, then roll out another 20 onto the open-fronted green below, while the tee box at the 501-yard 12th offers a 100foot drop to the fairway below. The par-3s, on the other hand (and there are six of them), are almost all monsters, with three checking in at over 185 yards, and a fourth – the iconic island-green 18th – requiring you to make your last full swing of the day a perfect one, or find yourself fishing your ball out of the water. The front nine plays 300 yards longer than the back, though nearly a third of its yardage is consumed by the aforementioned downhill par-5s, making it play shorter than its listed 3,100-yard length. While the par-5s are the most memorable for their grip-it-and-rip-it playability, the par-4 ninth provides the best challenge, a 430-yard dogleg left requiring a long carry on the drive, and a wellthreaded approach to the green. The back nine, meanwhile, has just three par-4s and four par-3s, including back-to-backers at Nos. 13 and 14. The 13th, in particular, can be quite difficult for even the best golfers, requiring a 200-yard forced carry off the 56
tee to a shallow green with trouble on all sides. Miss its relatively small (albeit wide) surface, and you’re sandy, on a severe downslope, or out of bounds. By the time you reach the tee box at the par-4 17th, you’ll have already played a number of memorable holes, and may well have a good round going on the scorecard – after all, if you can keep the ball in play and avoid the occasional water hazard, there’s nothing too difficult about Echo’s first 16 holes. That all changes at 17, though, a 460-yard par-4 (by comparison, hole No. 4 is a 472-yard par-5 … downhill) requiring a well-placed drive followed by a 200-plus-yard approach – entirely over water. Unless you can pinpoint-place that three-iron or fairway wood, the smart play is to lay up left and take your bogey. Which makes the tee shot at the par-3 18th all the more nerve-wracking – a 150-yard carry to an island green, backdropped by the beautiful Echo Falls clubhouse. So, no, Echo isn’t the toughest or prettiest course in the state. But it’s affordable, memorable, and almost guaranteed to have you eager to come back – after all, if you could have just avoided those back-to-back doubles to finish, just think what you could have scored!
BEST HOLE The postcard 18th is certainly the most memorable, forcing a knee-knocking tee shot to an island green. But it’s made all the more difficult by the fact that you’re likely licking your wounds from the par-4 17th, whose approach shot is one of the most difficult in the entire state. It’s so hard to separate these two, that we’ll give them cohonors. Just make sure you’ve taken care of business elsewhere before running this final gauntlet.
YARDAGE 4,883-5,952 RATES $22-$45 WEB echofallsgolf.com TEL (877) 395-2138 cascadegolfer.com
TODD WALTMIRE PGA DIRECTOR OF GOLF THE GOLF CLUB AT NEWCASTLE
uring the 2010 edition of The Masters, we witnessed Phil Mickelsonâ€™s mastery of challenging lies. During my visit to Augusta National, I was floored by the severity of the elevation changes and the complexity of the lies. Players in the Pacific Northwest are often confronted by uneven lies during a round of golf with varying difficulty.
The mountaintop setting of our Coal Creek course at The Golf Club at Newcastle offers fantastic views, but the trade-off is 300 feet of elevation change. This layout challenges our members and public guests with numerous lies that are anything but flat, so our PGA professionals tend to stress the importance of learning to hit off of uneven lies. Some simple adjustments can help you overcome these challenges. The goal is to offset the effect of the lie in order to simulate a flat lie. In my opinion, the most challenging lie is when the ball is above your feet. The tendency with this lie is to hit it to the left, or
PRACTICE TEE to hit heavy shots. The slope will move your weight to your heels and make it difficult to transfer your weight forward into the follow-through. The first adjustment is to balance your weight distribution. Move some weight onto your toes at address. This will help to counteract the slope and allow you to make an improved weight transfer. Next, choke down on the golf club. This will give you a little extra control and help eliminate hitting behind the ball. You may need to experiment with the need to take an extra club when choking down. I like to avoid swinging hard because it tends to impart more spin on the ball. Make a practice swing to ensure that you are comfortable sweeping the turf and not digging in. Finally, aim right of the target. Although we have made adjustments, there is still a likelihood of the arms passing the body too quickly. This closes the clubface and introduces draw spin on the ball.â€Ż These are the adjustments that I make when I face a lie with the ball above my feet. And while you might not find yourself battling it out with Phil at Augusta National, learning to better manage uneven lies can help you tame your game in the fairway and hit more greens in regulation. I hope that these quick tips can shave some strokes from your score, but as always, seek instruction from your local PGA member for further tips and feedback.
Short and Sweet BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR
ithout question, the biggest issue facing municipal golf in America today isn’t access (there are dozens of outstanding courses just in our region alone) or cost (if you can’t find a fantastic round for under $45, you haven’t been reading this magazine very long) – it’s time. Most golf courses strive to keep the pace of play at roughly four-and-a-half hours per group – about 15 minutes per hole. Given that a golf shot takes all of about two seconds to complete, and that the “average” golfer probably takes somewhere between 80-90 shots a round, that means that – on a good day – a player spends a little over two-and-a-half minutes golfing, and the other four hours, 27 ½ minutes driving, walking or waiting around for the players in front of them to hit. In the summer and fall months, when courses are at their most crowded, play at some of the busiest tracks can climb upwards of five hours – eating up an entire afternoon – while in the winter and spring, finding even four-and-a-half hours of Northwest sunshine can be difficult to do, and next-to-impossible to predict. Recognizing this fact, more and more golfers
are turning to par-3 or “executive” courses for that practice round, or a quick shake-out on one of those afternoons when the sun breaks through at 2 p.m., and you’re overcome with the golfing bug. In addition to executive-only courses like Seattle’s Interbay Golf Center, more and more golf venues are adding par-3
or executive tracks to their existing layouts to cater to golfers in a hurry or looking to work on their short game, or juniors who want to build their skills in a less intimidating environment.
Interbay Golf Center
Mount Si Golf Course
Willows Run Golf Complex
(206) 285-2200 premiergc.com/interbay
(425) 391-4926 mtsigolf.com
(425) 883-1200 willowsrun.com
Without question Seattle’s No. 1 executive track, groomed to the quality of a top-end full-size course yet playable in an hour — two hours for 18. Throw in the downtown location, two-level driving range, miniature golf course and $16 weekend rates, and Interbay can’t be beat.
If it seems like we keep coming back to Mt. Si, it’s because they keep giving us reasons to visit. The latest is the brand-new “Little Si Links” opened May 1, a par-27 track cut from the same mold as its terrific par-72 older sibling, but friendlier to young golfers just cutting their teeth.
Heron Links, the par-3 companion to Willows’ two championship courses, Eagle’s Talon and Coyote Creek, boasts something rarely seen at a par-3 track – water, and lots of it. The wet stuff comes into play on seven holes, ranging up to 170 yards, giving golfers a true test of their short-game skills.
Interbay Golf Complex
HERE’S A FEW OF OUR FAVORITES:
OTHER TOP LOCAL SHORT COURSES BATTLE CREEK • MARYSVILLE (360) 659-7931 battlecreeklinks.com
JUNE 2010 JUNE 2010
HIGH CEDARS • ORTING (360) 893-3171 highcedars.com
JACKSON PARK • SEATTLE (206) 363-4747 premiergc.com/ jackson-park.php
LYNNWOOD GOLF COURSE (425) 672-4653 ci.lynnwood.wa.us